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Applicability of the Kawa Model as a Framework for the Occupational Therapy Process

Applicability of the Kawa Model as a Framework for the Occupational Therapy Process

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Author: Hanna Majapuro

Type of Project: One-Year Masters in Occupational Therapy Thesis

Place of Study: Jönköping University, School of Health and Welfare, Department of Rehabilitation, Box 1026, SE-551 11 Jönköping, Sweden.


Background: Kawa is a client-centered and culturally sensitive occupational therapy model. Discussion has aroused if Kawa would be a suitable model for the clientele, which is culturally more diverse than before.

Aim: To investigate how occupational therapists have applied Kawa for the occupational therapy process.

Material and Methods: This qualitative study involved 15 occupational therapists, who had applied Kawa to their clients. They got selected on social media by ‘snowball sampling’. Data was collected using an electronic questionnaire. Directed content analysis was conducted, guided by The Occupational Therapy Intervention Process Model.

Results: Kawa was considered a client-centered model enhancing therapeutic relationships. By using Kawa, therapists gained relevant information through the client’s subjective selfreport. However, observation of the client’s occupational performance omitted. Kawa did not provide sufficient tools, and therapists had to apply knowledge from other models.

Conclusions: Kawa provided a strong starting point for the occupational therapy process by enhancing the therapeutic relationships and the client’s subjective self-report, but it did not guide the therapist to complete the whole occupational therapy process.

Significance: This study proved that Kawa is a useful model for developing therapeutic rapport and gaining information through self-report. The study suggests that Kawa should be developed further or combined with occupation-based models.

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