WORKING TOWARDS HEALTH EQUITY IN OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY
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This study describes how health equity approaches are currently enacted in occupational therapy practice and documents barriers and needs to foster the integration of these approaches. Over 360 Canadian occupational therapists completed a survey based on current equity indicators in health services. Descriptive statistics and content analysis were used to analyze survey responses. Respondents reported more frequently engaging in actions to address clients’ needs, while initiatives at a community and systems levels or in the evaluation of services were less frequent. Organizational constraints, systemic aspects of inequities, practical competencies and limited access to professional resources were commonly reported barriers. Supportive management and collaboration with other professionals and communities were identified as valued supports. These findings provide insights into opportunities for actions at the level of occupational therapy service delivery, and into existing barriers and facilitators that may help therapists, education programs, and organizations develop their capacity for health equity work.