Strengthening the Kawa Model: Japanese Perspectives on Person, Occupation, and Environment (Wada, 2011)
Background. The Kawa model emerged to meet a need for occupational therapy models and theories relevant to Japanese clients and since its inception has evolved considerably.
Purpose. To provide an overview of the Kawa model and to contribute to a critique of the model from Japanese perspectives on person, occupation, and environment.
Key Issues. The paper notes that the Kawa model does not portray inner self nor does it integrate one’s active belonging; the author identifies the challenges of addressing issues related to occupations, and introduces the concept of seken (day-to-day community).
Implications. The model would be strengthened by presenting inner self and a discrete layer of seken in the environment to effectively articulate belonging. The ways of presenting occupation need to be improved to capture relationships between occupation and belonging, effects of occupations, and positive and negative meanings attributed to an occupation. Exploring relationships between self, occupation, life flow, and harmony is warranted.
Author: Mineko Wada, MSc, OT (Japan)
Published in: Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy; October 2011 vol. 78 no. 4230-236.