Main activities and domains of expertise

The work of the members of the OHS network is grouped around three priority areas of activity, namely :

The first axis, the evaluative approach, aims to establish approaches to document human occupations and explore the impact of practices in place across different settings. In this area, three main themes will be addressed :

The identification, assessment and developmentof measurement tools related to human occupations and social participation; The further development of the evaluation practices of practitioners; The continued development of ERGOTHECA, the repository and directory of clinical measurement instruments of the HETS&Sa-EESP library.

Coordinator: Martine Bertrand-Leiser


The second axis aims to contribute to the development of innovative practices. Thus, based on the evaluation and analysis of the different facets of human occupations, the emphasis is placed on the development and adaptation of new interventions based on occupations, in different contexts and in relation to social participation. The pivotal periods in people's lives are particularly targeted, as they involve several actors, possible changes in the living environment and require continuous adaptation of the occupations carried out. In addition, the productions of this axis will contribute to the development of models for the evaluation of interventions and practices.

Coordinator: Isabel Margot-Cattin

The third axis puts forward knowledge, whether it comes from practice or research, about human occupations and health. It also focuses on the transfer of this knowledge between partners. It should be noted that several members of the OHS network are involved in the  Community for the Advancement of French-speaking Applied Research in Ergotherapy (Communauté pour l'Avancement de la Recherche Appliquée Francophone en Ergothérapie, CARAFE). CARAFE publishes the Revue Francophone de Recherche en Ergothérapie (RFRE), which represents a good example of knowledge transfer with an open and free online medium accessible to the French-speaking world.

The goal of OHS by 2020 is that a network of people involved in teaching, research and clinical practice functions and disseminates, in both directions, knowledge and innovations about human occupations and health.

Manager: Julie Desrosiers

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Occupational sciences

Occupational sciences (SdO) have been in continuous development since the early 1990s. This field arose from the practices of health professionals involved in the promotion of human activity, in particular occupational therapists. Occupational sciences are generally considered to be interdisciplinary and benefit from the contributions of researchers from various backgrounds, such as anthropology, psychology and sociology. Coming from a clinical perspective, SdO have the particularity of focusing on occupations and how they tie in with health, generally with a view to support, inspire or question professional practices. They consider human occupation as a whole, encompassing both the material and non-material aspects of the interaction between people and their environment:

  • Activities
  • Individuals
  • Contexts

Although they share their objects with many disciplines in the humanities and social sciences, SdO are distinguished by their interest in transactional concepts that integrate these three dimensions (such as affordance, familiarity) and in understanding the meaning and significance of occupations for the health of individuals.
Human occupations cover all the individual and collective activities in which individuals engage; that is, what people do, how they do it and what they are or become through what they do.

The themes emerging from the SdO (such as occupational transition, co-occupation, occupational balance, occupational deprivation, occupational alienation) offer a broad perspective for action :

  • in terms of prevention and health promotion
  • the evaluation of human activities
  • the development of innovative approaches and interventions for social participation


Some useful references

Pierce, D. (2016). Occupational science for occupational therapy. Translation by M.-C. Morel-Bracq, Louvain La Neuve: De Boeck University.
Meyer, S. (2013). From activity to participation. Paris: De Boeck - Solal.
Whiteford, G. E., & Hocking, C. (2012). Occupational Science: Society, Inclusion, Participation. Chichester : John Wiley & Sons.
Wilcock, A. (2006). An Occupational Perspective of Health. Thorofare : Slack Incorporated.