Centre of Expertise Urban Vitality

A new you

a collaborative exploration of occupational therapy's role with refugees


Theoretical works in occupational therapy and occupational science have explored the refugee experience through an occupational lens, and explored the potential for occupational therapy in this field. Currently, there exists a lack of literature which includes refugees in these explorations. Recognising the western-bias present within occupational therapy, it is important that refugees are part of a co-produced response. This article presents findings of a workshop held in the Netherlands, where four co-authors with a refugee background and one occupational therapist explored the definition of occupational therapy, the role it could have with refugees, and what is required from the profession to take on this role. Reflections suggest that occupational therapy has the potential to be a connector, matchmaker and translator, working towards societal participation. To do this, occupational therapists must critically reflect on assumptions embedded in occupational therapy, and must be aware of how structural systems influence participation of refugees.

Reference Blankvoort, N., Muzeyyen, A., Tonoyan, A., Damour, A. Q., & Mpabanzi, L. (2018). A new you: a collaborative exploration of occupational therapy's role with refugees. World Federation of Occupational Therapists Bulletin, 74(2), 92-98. https://doi.org/10.1080/14473828.2018.1526560
1 January 2018

Publication date

Jan 2018


Arslan Muzeyyen
Ani Tonoyan
Ahmad Q. Damour
Liliane Mpabanzi

Research database