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Objective: The purpose of this qualitative study using a life history approach is to provide current and future generations of occupational therapists a view of the history and how occupational therapy practice has evolved from its inception to current practice through the life history stories of occupational therapists who have held leadership roles at the national level and beyond.

Method: A semi-structured phone interview was conducted between the student researchers and Mary Hager, a retired occupational therapist. The interview was audio-recorded and transcribed verbatim prior to data analysis. Codes, categories, and themes were synthesized from the interview to comprehend a deeper understanding of turning points and accomplishments in Mary’s life.

Results: A data analysis was conducted by collapsing the provided information into codes, categories, and themes. The categories of collaborating, challenges, opportunities, and leadership emerged, then led to a final assertion.

Conclusion: Throughout Mary’s career, collaborating, growing from challenges, opportunities, as well as situations where leadership could flourish, had an impact on the type of experiences she had and the competencies she developed while working in educational and political settings.

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Biography, Evolution, Inception, Life history, Challenges


Occupational Therapy

Evolution of Occupational Therapy Practice: Life History of Mary Hager