Date of Award

January 2014

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

MaryEllen Thompson

Department Affiliation

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

Abstract

In Kenya, occupational therapy, which is slowly gaining attention, is still concentrated in the cities with a very small number working in rural areas. Occupational therapy practice in rural areas is impacted by various factors that are naturally occurring in rural settings such as poor infrastructure, cultural beliefs and values, language barriers, economic statuses, lack of resources, geographical barriers, lack of transportation and limited number of occupational therapists. In this study, three occupational therapists were interviewed as well as photographs of the resources used in these rural settings were collected in order to understand the nature of their work in that context. The data collected shows the challenges they face which include weather, lack of transportation, poverty, geographical barriers, language barriers and cultural beliefs. Some of the skills that they have developed over the years include creativity, perseverance, ability to empower and cultural literacy. These are self-coping skills and strategies that they have found to be very helpful to them and to other future occupational therapist looking to work in the rural areas.

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