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A pragmatist perspective for occupational therapy professional reasoning

Grant number: 21/14571-6
Support Opportunities:Regular Research Grants
Duration: April 01, 2022 - March 31, 2024
Field of knowledge:Health Sciences - Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy
Principal Investigator:Taís Quevedo Marcolino
Grantee:Taís Quevedo Marcolino
Host Institution: Centro de Ciências Biológicas e da Saúde (CCBS). Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCAR). São Carlos , SP, Brazil
Associated researchers: Angélica da Silva Araujo ; Elizabeth Anne Kinsella ; Ricardo Lopes Correia ; Rodolfo Morrison Jara


Clinical/Professional reasoning is an essential dimension of competent practice in the health professions. Research in clinical reasoning in Occupational Therapy is based on phenomenological conceptions, valuing subjective understandings, which limit the inclusion of other aspects. Contextual and relational aspects remain in the background, highlighting gaps that require deeper understanding in decision-making processes. Current literature calls for the deepening of perspectives that encompass context-centered practice. Pragmatism presents a theoretical-philosophical framework guided toward the solution of social problems. It attends to problematic situations in a situated whole, which opens up in a range of transactions, allowing us to understand functional relationships between people and contexts. Some elements of the philosophy of Pragmatism that can broaden understanding of professional reasoning include: (a) conceptions about scientific knowledge and professional reasoning; (b) empiricism as integration of embodied, cognitive, and contextual aspects; (c) compositions between phenomenology (investigating to understand) and pragmatism (investigating to act); (d) adoption of an inclusive perspective of non-human aspects in the composition of the professional reasoning. This project intends to identify and theoretically deepen the relationships between the literature on professional reasoning in occupational therapy and elements/contributions of the philosophy of Pragmatism, seeking to expand theoretical-methodological resources for practice and research. A conceptual research will be carried out, following the steps proposed by the Conceptual Text Interpretation Procedure (material selection and conceptual identification, these characterization, schematic elaboration, and interpretive synthesis), incorporating empirical data analysis of researches carried out/in progress to identify gaps and operate theoretical-conceptual refinements. It is expected that the results allow (a) to promote greater conceptual and methodological rigor for researchers; (b) to develop more adjusted guidelines to reflect on professional practice in real contexts; and (c) to provide a basis for the development of more adequate tools for practice teaching-learning. (AU)

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