Occupational adaptation as a lived experience: The case of Filipino occupational therapy academic educators

Maria Concepcion C. Cabatan, Lenin C. Grajo, Erlyn A. Sana

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Occupational adaptation is an important process to understand, as we build knowledge of humans as occupational beings. Scholars advocate for deeper understanding of this process in situated contexts such as that of the academic environment. Academic educators constantly demonstrate occupational adaptation process when meeting daily expectations and role demands and transact within the academic environment. This process, however, remains under-explored. In this study, we analyzed the experiences of 11 Filipino occupational therapy educators to examine the phenomenon of occupational adaptation. A phenomenological approach, with semi-structured interviews, was used to explore how educators perceive, fulfill, and adapt to their occupations as academics. Four themes emerged from an iterative process of extracting significant statements from the interviews and triangulation with the literature: (1) traversing academic roles and re-aligning value systems; (2) transacting with the academic environment; (3) adopting new and creative ways of doing and responding; (4) having a renewed sense of self. At the core of the experiences of Filipino occupational therapy educators is an academic community which forms the context of relationships and identity formation. The occupational adaptation of academic educators is an ongoing transformative process that occurs while engaging in roles and transacting with the academic environment, and involves thinking, doing, and responding in new or creative ways during occupational participation, which brings about a renewed sense of self and identity. Perspectives from occupational science on person-environment transactions serve as a strong theoretical framework to understand the everyday occupation of academics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-524
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Occupational Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • Academic educators
  • Occupational adaptation
  • Occupational science
  • Person-environment transaction


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