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A life history interview with a qualitative approach was conducted with Michael Iwama, PhD, MSc, BScOT, BScHP by two student researchers and an advisor from the University of North Dakota Department of Occupational Therapy. The purpose of this study is to provide occupational therapists with a view of history and how occupational therapy practice has evolved from inception to current practice through the life history of Michael Iwama. The research was guided by the Kawa model to shape the interview schedule, and the view of the individual and their context (Iwama, Thomson, & Macdonald, 2009). The two-hour interview was recorded, transcribed verbatim, coded into 32 codes, and collapsed into 4 categories and corresponding themes. Trustworthiness was established through reflexive journals, member checking, multiple researchers, and multiple methods of data collection. The categories formed included the following: background, culture, model, and passion. From these categories emerged the assertion statement: Dr. Iwama’s diverse background and culture strongly influenced the lens in which he sees the world and profession of OT through. This led to his immeasurable passion for the unique value of OT and creation of the Kawa model.

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Inception, Kawa Model, Influential, Life History, Collectivist model, Culturally relevant


Occupational Therapy

Evolution of Occupational Therapy:  A Life History of Dr. Michael Iwama, PhD, MSc, BScOT, BScHP