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Marion Russell, MOTR/L
Angela Bahle-Lampe, OTD, OTR/L


This paper presents an historical analysis of occupational therapy’s role in hospice care with relation to past and current hospice practices, as well as cultural forces that impact that role. Since the beginning of the movement, hospice has developed into a strong component of end-of-life care, and occupational therapy practice models and interventions are unique in addressing the occupational needs of clients during this stage of life. Despite compelling evidence of the positive impact of employing occupational therapists, there continue to be significant barriers to implementation of services. The author proposes that the concept of occupation, as experienced at the end-of-life stage, needs to be more clearly defined and occupational therapy’s role broadened in order to strengthen the profession’s presence in the hospice setting.