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Region leads way with new occupational therapy

10 February 2005

Region leads way with new occupational therapy text

A new health practice book to be launched at AUT this Friday will be the first to address regional issues for researchers, students and practitioners and will have global reach, say its co-editors. Occupation and Practice in Context is co-edited by Professor Gail Whiteford of Charles Sturt University, which is based in New South Wales, Australia and Valerie Wright-St Clair, Head of AUT’s School of Occupational Therapy, in the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences.

The book is written for students and professionals striving to understand and address the multiple contextual influences that affect their everyday work. Based on complexity theory, which describes the inter-connectedness of human systems, the book examines the contextual forces that shape interactions with clients and consumers, whatever the setting or environment.

Professor Whiteford says global publisher Elsevier approached her to edit the book because they recognised a real need for it.

“There was a real dearth of an informed, up to date text for this part of the world. Australia and New Zealand are amongst the world leaders in the practice and conceptual development of occupational therapy so it is very appropriate that this book is written by academics from the region.”

While it is immediately applicable to the Australasian environment, Valerie Wright-St Clair says it could be equally used overseas.

“The book features many exemplars taken from New Zealand and Australian contexts but these can be easily transposed to the North American or European environment.” Professor Whiteford has had enquires about the book from countries as diverse as South Africa, Romania and Ireland during the last week.

Six AUT staff have written or co-authored chapters for the book (Professor David Seedhouse, Dr Marion Jones, Dr Clare Hocking, Associate Professor Mihi Ratima and Matiu Ratima.) Valerie Wright St Clair says this not only exemplifies AUT’s strength in the field but also its interdisciplinary approach, with the authors coming from different disciplines and faculties.

more When asked to edit the book Professor Whiteford says she didn’t have to think very hard about who she should approach as co-editor.

“I worked with Valerie from 1992 to 1998 at the then Auckland Institute of Technology (now Auckland University of Technology) and knew she would be able to work with me to provide the interdisciplinary overview required for the project.”

The use throughout the book of detailed case studies, chapter objectives, key point summaries and further reading suggestions mean that Occupation and Practice in Context will be an important guide for student and practitioners alike, helping to clarify the complex contextual issues factors influencing the practice.


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