Occupational Therapy – Participation and the Environment

The Participation and the Environment Professorship focuses on issues arising from the way people take part in everyday life and society. The professorship is affiliated with the Bachelor’s programme in Occupational Theory and the European Master of Science in Occupational Therapy.

The profession of occupational therapist links in directly to a number of core policy areas within the health and welfare sector: public participation, a demand-driven approach, care close to home, healthcare technology and a district-oriented approach to healthcare. In addition, occupational therapy also deals with the question of how elderly people and people with chronic conditions can continue to live at home for as long as possible and with as much autonomy as possible. The Professorship in Participation and the Environment explores all of these questions.


Through applied research, the professorship contributes to the further development of the discipline of occupational therapy and that of individual practitioners. The approach is founded upon the concept of participation, on the part of both patients and members of the public, and looks at the way their participation is affected by their surroundings.


The professorship uses both quantitative and qualitative research, including participatory action research. Cooperation is essential in this – both with the other professorships within the Faculty of Health and AUAS as a whole, and beyond, with institutions such as the Amsterdam UMC, interest groups, partners in education, the City of Amsterdam and the Centre for Patient Experiences (‘Centrum voor Cliëntervaringen’). To ensure there is a link with professional practice, the professorship works with the relevant demographic and professionals and volunteers from the health and welfare sector in all of its research projects.

Knowledge transfer

The professorship provides post-Bachelor’s degree training for healthcare professionals. The professorship has established the ‘Active Healthy Ageing’ learning network and a ‘Community of Practice’ aimed at people who have had a stroke.

Lecturer-researchers involved in the professorship develop educational material and teach in their area of expertise. In this way, the knowledge obtained by the professorship is fed back into the education that is provided. Students also have the option of getting involved in tackling the issues the professorship is studying as their final project.

Published by  Faculty of Health 20 July 2023