The development of occupational therapy in Grangegorman Psychiatric Hospital, Dublin: 1934 – 1954
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AbstractBackground: Reflecting back on the history of a profession helps to shape its future practice (Mayer 2000). Occupational therapy has its origins in moral treatment and from the beginning of its profession it played a role in psychiatric hospital settings (Peloquin 1989). This study explored the development occupational therapy in Grangegorman psychiatric hospital from 1934 to 1954. Method: Historical documentary methods were used to analyse the primary sources of Grangegorman hospital archives, governmental documents and newspaper archives. Results: A chronological timeline of key events in the development of occupational therapy is presented. Thematic analysis revealed three key themes; a) hospital, State and international influences, b) the role of key nursing staff in providing occupational therapy services and c) challenges of limited resources and conflicting rationales. Conclusion: Key events highlight influences from Europe, Britain and America in the initial establishment of occupational therapy in Grangegorman. Occupational therapy centred on handicraft and productivity based activities and appeared to be a valued discipline in the hospital. The role of specially trained nursing staff in providing occupational therapy in Grangegorman and their key roles in the establishment of the Irish Occupational Therapy Association, throws light on the early/pre-professional era of occupational therapy practice in Ireland. Implications for Practice: This study adds to the unfolding history of occupational therapy in Ireland and reinforces the importance of examining the profession’s history to help provide new perspectives on its current day practice.
TypeMaster thesis (research)