Occupational engagement was first described in 1980 by Elizabeth Yerxa. Forty years later, the concept has no consensual definition in the literature. Despite a lack of common agreement, occupational engagement has been used to describe the ultimate goal of occupational therapy in several documents of associations and research articles. The opinion piece discusses the importance and implications of a lack of consensual concept definition for the profession of occupational therapy and focuses on five descriptions of occupational engagement in the literature. The word "promise" expresses the message occupational therapists send through their organizations, institutions, clinical practice, and research to society and stakeholders that can benefit from occupational therapy services. The descriptions of occupational engagement are presented to illustrate how the literature understands the phenomenon differently. The literature presents definitions that diverge in four meanings: (a) occupational performance; (b) occupational participation; (c) occupational balance, routine and skills; and (e) beyond performance. As a final consideration, this opinion piece highlights the need for action in exploring the concept of occupational engagement in the profession of occupational therapy and in the discipline of occupational science.
Cezar da Cruz, D. (2023). The Promise of Occupational Therapy: Occupational Engagement. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 11(3), 1-6. https://doi.org/10.15453/2168-6408.2111