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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.

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Positive Mindset, Pioneer, Influential, optimism, discrimination


Occupational Therapy

Evolution of Occupational Therapy Practice: Life History of  Lela Llorens, Ph.D., OTR/Ret, FAOTA.