occupational science, Occupational Therapy in Practice, OTalk

#OTalk 29th September 2015 – Language and Culture

Language and Culture

Date:  29/09/2015   Host: @OTontheTracks

Blog Post  –  Transcript

This week #OTalk will be discussing the impact of language and culture has on our role as occupational therapy practitioners. It’s a massive topic which we could never cover in one #OTalk so we are just dipping our toes in this week hosted by @otonthetracks

culture copy

Culture impacts on every aspect of our lives – who we are and what we do, what we value and believe how we make judgements and decisions and our behaviour (Hopton & Stoneley, 2006; Henley & Scohott, 1999). It is both visible to our in the actions we undertake and traditional symbolic activities we may undertake and celebrate, and also invisible to others in our thought process and decision making and even in our motivations (Hopton & Stoneley, 2006) and their own perceptions to health and wellbeing (Whiteford & Wilcock, 2000).

HCPC Standards of proficiency: Occupational Therapist (2013) highlights the need for OTs to be aware of impact of culture and diversity on practice, and be able to adapt practice to meet the needs of our service users.

As we deliver occupational therapy interventions we aim to make our therapy relevant to the clients lifestyle and values (Chiang & Carlson, 2003), but how does this look in our everyday practice? Are we able to do this in our work environments?

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HCPC (2003) also states that as OTs we need to be able to effectively communicate (verbally or non verbally) with our service users in a way they can understand such as through using an appropriate interpreter.

But how does this impact on our practice in the environment we work? Are we able to communicate appropriately with our service users within appropriate timescales and cost limitations within services?

During the chat we will focus on the following questions:


  • How have you adapted your practice to take into account a service users different culture?
  • Does this create challenges or opportunities for us as OTs?


  • Have you worked with individuals, where spoken English is not their method of communication? How did you deal with this?
  • What were the challenges for you as the practitioner?
  • What were the challenges for the service user?


Chiang, M. & Carlson, G. (2003) ‘Occupational therapy in multicultural contexts: Issues and strategies’, The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66 (12), pp.559-567.

Health and Care Professions Council (2013) Standards of proficiency: occupational therapists. Available at: http://www.hpc-uk.org/assets/documents/10000512Standards_of_Proficiency_Occupational_Therapists.pdf  [Accessed 11.09.15]

Henley, A. & Schott, J. (1999) Culture, religion and patient care in a multi-ethnic society: a handbook for professionals. Age concern books London.

Hopton, K. & Stoneley, H. (2006) ‘Cultural awareness in occupational therapy: the Chinese example’, The British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69 (8), pp.386-389.


Post Chat Updates

9Avg Tweets/Hour
8Avg Tweets/Participant

Online Transcript – Healthcare Hashtag

PDF Transcript #OTalk 29 Sept 2015

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