Reframing Rehabilitation: Pedagogical Strategies in Physio‐and Occupational Therapies

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Background: The responsibility for rehabilitation of patients is increasingly shifted from the Danish welfare state onto citizens themselves. In health policies this shift creates new forms of rehabilitation, where patients are redefined as participants, which potentially alters the pedagogical approach in which rehabilitation is primarily undertaken by physio- or occupational therapists. Ethnographic research in the field of pedagogy and physio- and occupational therapy is scarce. Purpose of study: This paper will offer perspectives on how pedagogy is constituted within the practice of physio- and occupational therapeutic rehabilitation across different contexts. Methods/Theory: Four separate ethnographic studies based on participant observations and qualitative interviews were carried out by the authors in different settings. The analyses engage these empirical examples to illustrate how pedagogical strategies becomes visible within therapeutic practices in healthcare. The researchers utilize poststructuralist inspired theoretical framework employing concepts of infrastructure (Larkin 2013), positioning and subjectification (Butler 2006, Foucault 2003, Davies & Harré 1990) and practices (Barad 2007, Mol 2002). Findings: Health education becomes a tool that transforms health policy ambitions from a social concern to an individual commitment through the work of health professionals. Physio- and occupational therapy are identified as practices with a particular pedagogical approach. Political concepts such as involvement and participation are mobilized and enacted through series of technologies as a kind of institutional infrastructure. While presented as an apparently neutral practice (Larkin 2013), these therapeutic forms become the ground for determining how to be a patient, what quality is, what involvement is possible, and, most significantly, how health education is formed.


KonferenceThe 9th Nordic Health Promotion Research Network Conference
LokationRoskilde Universitet
AndetThe 9th Nordic Health Promotion Research Conference addresses the question of how we as researchers are able to investigate and theorize the changing contexts for health promotion and the normativity’s intertwined with late-modern interests in health. How can we understand the duality of health as on the one hand a basic human right, a fundamental resource for living, as well as a precondition for societal cohesion and development, and on the other hand as increasingly becoming a civic obligation left for the individual to fulfill?<br/><br/>The assumption that health may be understood as a simultaneously societal, bodily as well as biological reality, subjectively experienced, objectively measured and socially constructed leads to a need for discussions of what health promotion is and can be in the future. It questions available theories and calls for in-depth reflections on how to engage with sustainable health promotion in theory, as researchers and in practice. Speakers and presenters at The 9th Nordic Health Promotion Research Conference are encouraged to address the conference theme from both empirical and theoretical angles providing a creative space for such reflections.

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