Document Type : Review Article
Occupational Therapy Program, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK
Occupational Therapy Department, Faculty of Allied Health, Kuwait University, Kuwait
Iranian Research Centre on Aging, University of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation Sciences, Tehran, Iran
Occupational Therapy Program, Health & Wellbeing, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK
Occupational Therapy Program, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK
Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK
Department of Clinical Psychology, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran
Independent Clinician, Tehran, Iran
Introduction: According to the World Health Organisation ‘participation’, meaning involvement in everyday occupations, has a positive influence on health and wellbeing and lack thereof can lead to negative health consequences. Occupational therapy scholars believe this phenomenon needs exploring with attention to context. Variability is apparent in the way participation has been addressed in the context of voluntary immigration. This review aims to identify how the concept of participation and its association with the health and wellbeing of immigrants is addressed in research literature.
Methods: A literature review method was applied. The data bases searched were: PubMed, ASSIA, CINHAL, PsycINFO, AMED, CRD, EBESCO Host, Sociological Abstract, Lexis and EMBASE. Articles that fulfilled all inclusion criteria were critically appraised in order to assess their quality. Sixteen articles from major related databases were included. Qualitative analysis was used throughout.
Results: Participation was mostly identified by measuring the number of attendances or self-report of attendance in health-related services or social occupations. Four themes were identified: outlook of participation, contributing factors to participation, approaches to studying immigrants’ participation, and outcomes of participation.
Conclusion: Participation lacks a common and exclusive definition that considers both objective and subjective experiences. How immigrants’ backgrounds and future perspectives affect what ‘participation’ means to them needs further exploration. The current publication has identified several contributing factors that need considering in health and social-related policies, plans and strategies. It is significant that enabling factors such as the positive attitude of immigrants, and providing support to immigrants can facilitate their participation pattern.