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‘The Great Adventure’ - The experiences of Lena Hitchcock, World War One occupational therapy reconstruction aide
Moloney, Stephanie
Background: World War One was a pivotal era in the development of occupational therapy (Wilcock 2002). Occupational therapy reconstruction aides worked in hospitals in America and France engaging injured soldiers in occupations to increase motor function, divert their minds from pain and depression and prepare them for future vocations (Bloom Hoover 1996). In 1918, twenty eight year old occupational therapy reconstruction aide, Lena Hitchcock, travelled to France. She recorded her experiences in her unpublished memoir, ‘The Great Adventure ’. Objective: To identify the professional experiences (occupations used, relationships with injured soldiers, relationships with colleagues) of occupational therapy reconstruction aide, Lena Hitchcock, by analysing her unpublished memoir ‘The Great Adventure’. Methods: Historical documentary research methods were employed. The memoir was analysed thematically (Braun and Clarke 2006). Secondary sources, including the published history of Base Hospital 9 (Brown 1920) where Lena worked, were also analysed. Findings: Thematic analysis revealed 150 codes which refined to three themes: (i) the therapeutic occupations used by the Aides; (ii) relationships between the occupational therapy reconstruction aides and injured soldiers and (iii) the relationships of the occupational therapy reconstruction aides with other colleagues, including physiotherapy reconstruction aides. Conclusions: This research chronicled the experience of one occupational therapy reconstruction aide working in France during World War One. The therapeutic use of occupations including arts and crafts emerged. The occupational therapy reconstruction aides’ relationships with injured soldiers, nurses, doctors and physiotherapy reconstruction aides evolved over this period of time. It is by understanding its history, current occupational therapy practice and approaches can be contextualised.
Keyword(s): Lena Hitchcock; World War One; occupational therapy
Publication Date:
Type: Master thesis (research)
Peer-Reviewed: No
Language(s): English
Institution: University of Limerick
Publisher(s): University of Limerick
First Indexed: 2017-05-10 05:30:22 Last Updated: 2017-05-10 05:30:22