The Kawa model is an emerging model of occupational therapy practice; however it has not previously been used in a palliative care setting. Additionally research describing the role of the occupational therapist in palliative care is limited.
A reflective analysis was used to explore the appropriateness of the Kawa model as a vehicle to facilitate narrative in palliative care. A single case study is presented, exploring the application of the Kawa model over three consecutive occupational therapy sessions. A reflective diary was used to document this experience.
Using the Kawa model has been both challenging and exciting. Evaluation of the model is limited to one case study. However the work to date, suggests that the Kawa model is an appropriate tool to use to explore narrative with patients in palliative care. In particular its use of pictorial representations to clarify meaning within context. One of the difficulties in its application in everyday practice is the constraint of time, in a service which has ever increasing demands placed upon it.
The use of the model has led to exploration of the role of the occupational therapist in palliative care. The Kawa model enables a greater understanding and appreciation of how difficult it is to listen to chaotic narratives, but more importantly how necessary it is to stay alongside our patients. Using the model has led to the discovery that our role as occupational therapists in palliative care is to engage our patients in reaffirming the value of being and to enable reshaping of identity.
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