Rylee Skyberg, Rachel Grubb
Objective: The objective of the overall study was to gain insight into Dr. Lela Llorens’s life experiences and leadership throughout her time of work in the profession of occupational therapy.
Method: This was a qualitative study done using a life history approach. The participant was selected from a list compiled through purposive sampling by the project directors. Data was gathered through a two-hour, semi-structured interview with Dr. Llorens via Zoom, and through her curriculum vitae. The two-hour interview was audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim. Member checking was not used for the triangulation of the data. The data collapsed into three categories with three to four themes in each.
Results: Data analysis was conducted, and the information was first coded, then placed into categories, themes, and an assertion. The categories that emerged were: Overcoming Challenges, Personal Factors, and Occupational Therapy. The themes that emerged through data analysis were: a strong belief in a positive mindset to help overcome any challenges, the value of serving others is apparent in all aspects of life, and occupational therapy being more than just a career, but a way of life.
Conclusion: Dr. Llorens served as a pioneer for the occupational therapy profession. She was able to maintain success and optimism during a time that was discriminatory for her. Her family and desire to serve others was instrumental in her professional and personal life as they gave her actions meaning.
Llorens, Lela, "Interview with Lela Llorens" (2019). Oral History Interviews. 80.