Practice Support

A list of resources that support occupational therapy practice with people who have been displaced.

Scroll down to view categories including:

  • Peer-reviewed publications
  • Position papers
  • Peer-reviewed published chapters
  • Doctoral and Masters dissertations
  • Online platforms to engage peers
  • Occupational Therapy Association Special Interest Groups
  • Online professional development
  • Other resources

Something missing or something that could make this page more helpful? Get in touch!

Peer-reviewed publications

Authored by occupational therapists about human displacement.

Adrian, A. (2013). An Exploration of Lutheran Music-Making among US Immigrant and Refugee Populations. Journal of Occupational Science, 20 (2), 160 – 172.

Algado, S. S., Gregori, J. M. R., & Egan, M. (1997). Spirituality in a refugee camp. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 64 (3), 138-145.

AlHeresh, R., Bryant, W., & Holm, M. (2013). Community-based rehabilitation in Jordan: challenges to achieving occupational justice. Disability and Rehabilitation, 35 (21), 1848 – 1852.

Bennett, K. M., Scornaiencki, J. M., Brzozowski, J., Denis, S., Magalhaes, L. (2012). Immigration and its Impact on Daily Occupations: A Scoping Review. Occupational Therapy International, 19 (4), 185–203.

Berr, K., Marotzki, U., & Schiller, S. (2018). Broadening the understanding of employment and identity of Syrian women living in Germany: A biographical study. Journal of Occupational Science, DOI: 10.1080/14427591.2018.1540356

Bishop, R., Purcell, E. (2013). The value of an allotment group for refugees. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 76 (6), 264-269.

Blankvoort, N., Arslan, M., Tonoyan, A., Damour, A. Q. & Mpabanzi, L. (2018). A new you: A collaborative exploration of occupational therapy’s role with refugees, World Federation of Occupational Therapists Bulletin, DOI: 10.1080/14473828.2018.1526560

Boyle, M. (2014). Occupational performance and self-determination: The role of the occupational therapist as volunteer in two mountain communities. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 61 (1), 6 – 12.

Burchett, N., & Matheson, R. (2010). The need for belonging: The impact of restrictions on working on the well-being of an asylum seeker. Journal of Occupational Science, 17 (2), 85- 91.

Campbell, E. J., & Turpin, M. (2010). Refugee settlement workers perspectives on home safety issues for people from refugee backgrounds. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 57 (6), 425-430.

Connor, S.A.M., & Polatajko, H. (2002). The individual as mediator of the person-occupation-environment interaction: Learning from the experience of refugees. Journal of Occuaptional Science, 9 (2), 82 – 92.

Copley, J., Turpin, M., Gordon, S., & McLaren, C. (2011). Development and evaluation of an occupational therapy program for refugee high school students. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 58 (4), 310-316.

Crawford, E., Turpin, M., Nayar, S., Steel, E. and Durand, J.L. (2016). The structural-personal interaction: Occupational deprivation and asylum seekers in Australia. Journal of Occupational Science, 23 (3), 321-338.

Eklund, M., & Morville, A. L. (2013). Psychometric evaluation of the Danish version of Satisfaction with Daily Occupations (SDO). Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 21 (3), 166 – 171.

Davies, R. (2008). Working with refugees and asylum seekers. In Pollard, N., Sakellariou, D., Kronenberg, F., & van Bruggen, H. (Eds.), A political practice of occupational therapy (pp. 183-190). Edinburgh: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.

Driver, C., & Beltran, R.O. (1998). Impact of refugee trauma on children’s occupational role as school students. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 45, 23 – 38.

Gupta, J. (2012). Human displacement, occupational disruptions, and reintegration: A case study. World Federation of Occupational Therapy Bulletin, 66, 27-29.

Gupta, J. & Sullivan, C. (2013). The Central Role of Occupation in the Doing, Being and Belonging of Immigrant Women. Journal of Occupational Science, 20 (1), 23 – 35.

Horgagen, S. & Josephsson, S. (2010). Theatre as liberation, collaboration and relationship for asylum seekers. Journal of Occupational Science, 17 (3), 168 – 176.

Huot, S., Rudman, D. L., Dodson, B., & Magalhães, L. (2013). Expanding Policy-Based Conceptualizations of ‘Successful Integration’: Negotiating Integration through Occupation following International Migration. Journal of Occupational Science, 20 (1), 6 – 22.

Huot, S., Erin Kelly, E. and Jin Park, S.J. (2016). Occupational experiences of forced migrants: A scoping review. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 63(3), 186 – 205.

Hocking, C. (2012). Working for citizenship: The dangers of occupational deprivation. Work: A Journal of Prevention, Assessment and Rehabilitation, 41 (4), 391-395.

Ingvarsson, L., Egilson, S. T., & Skaptadottir, U. D. (2016). I want a normal life like everyone else”: daily life of asylum seekers in Iceland. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 23(6), 416–424.

Kwai-Sang Yau., M. (1997). The impact of refugee resettlement on Southeast Asian adolescents and young adults: Implications for occupational therapists. Occupational Therapy International, 4 (1), 1-16.

Mirza, M. (2012). Occupational upheaval during resettlement and migration: Findings of global ethnography with refugees with disabilities. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health, 32 (1), 6 – 14.

Mansha, M., & Heinemann, A. (2012). Service needs and service gaps among refugees with disabilities resettled in the United States. Disability and Rehabilitation, 34 (7), 542 – 552.

Maroney, P., Potter, M., & Thacore, V. R. (2014). Experiences in occupational therapy with Afghan clients in Australia. Australia Occupational Therapy Journal, 61 (1), 13 – 19.

Mayne, J., Lowrie, D. & Wilson, J. (2016). Occupational Experiences of Refugees and Asylum Seekers Resettling in Australia: A Narrative Review, OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health, 36 (4), 204 – 215.

McElroy, T., Muyinda, H., Atimde, S., Spittal, P., & Backman, C. (2012). War, Displacement and Productive Occupations in Northern Uganda. Journal of Occupational Science, 19 (3), 198 – 212.

Moore, T. (2017). Strengths-based narrative storytelling as therapeutic intervention for refugees in Greece. World Federation of Occupational Therapists Bulletin, 73 (1), 45 – 51.

Morville, A-L. & Erlandsson, L. (2013). The Experience of Occupational Deprivation in an Asylum Centre: The Narratives of Three Men. Journal of Occupational Science, 20 (3), 212-223.

Morville, A., Amris, K., Eklund, M., Danneskiold-Samsøe, B., & Erlandsson, L.(2015). A longitudinal study of changes in asylum seekers ability regarding activities of daily living during their stay in the asylum center. Journal Of Immigrant & Minority Health, 17(3), 852–859.

Raanaas, R. K., Aase, S. Ø., & Huot, S. (2018). Finding meaningful occupation in refugees’ resettlement: A study of amateur choir singing in Norway. Journal of Occupational Science, DOI: 10.1080/14427591.2018.1537884

Roos, K., Wenger, I., Sowe, R. & Indermühle, Y. (2018). Addressing barriers to work for asylum seekers: Report from Switzerland, World Federation of Occupational Therapists Bulletin, DOI: 10.1080/14473828.2018.1540100

Smith, H. C. (2005). Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway’: Meeting the Occupational Needs of Refugees and People Seeking Asylum. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 68 (10), 474 – 476.

Smith, H. C. (2015). An exploration of the meaning of occupation to people who seek asylum in the United Kingdom. British Journal Of Occupational Therapy, 78 (10), 614–621.

Smith, Y. J., Cornella, E. and Williams, N. (2014). Working with populations from a refugee background: An opportunity to enhance the occupational therapy educational experience. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 61(1), 20 – 27.

Smith, Y. J. (2013). We All Bantu – We Have Each Other: Preservation of Social Capital Strengths during Forced Migration. Journal of Occupational Science, 20 (2),173 -184.

Smith, Y. J., Cornella, E., & Williams, N. (2014). Working with populations from a refugee background: An opportunity to enhance the occupational therapy educational experience. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 61 (1), 20 – 31.

Stephenson, S. M., Smith, Y. J., Gibson, M., & Watson, V. (2013). Traditional Weaving as an Occupation of Karen Refugee Women. Journal of Occupational Science, 20 (3), 224 – 235.

Smith, Y. J., Stephenson, S., & Gibson-Satterthwaite, M. (2013). The meaning and value of traditional occupational practice: A Karen woman’s story of weaving in the United States. Work, 45 (1), 25–30.

Stickley, A. & Stickley, T. (2010). A holistic model for the rehabilitation and recovery of internally displaced people in war-torn Uganda. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 73 (7), 335 – 338.

Suleman, A., & Whiteford, G. (2013). Understanding occupational transitions in forced migration: The importance of life skills in early refugee resettlement. Journal of Occupational Science, 20 (2), 201-210.

Thornton, M. & Spalding, N. (2018). An exploration of asylum seeker and refugee experiences of activity: A literature review, World Federation of Occupational Therapists Bulletin, DOI: 10.1080/14473828.2018.1539282

Trimboli, C., & Taylor, J. (2016). Addressing the occupational needs of refugees and asylum seekers. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 63 (6), 434–437.

Trimboli, C. & Halliwell, V. (2018). A survey to explore the interventions used by occupational therapists and occupational therapy students with refugees and asylum seekers. World Federation of Occupational Therapists Bulletin, 74 (2), 106 – 113.

Werge-Olsen, I. B., & Kjersti, V. (2012). Activity as a tool in language training for immigrants and refugees. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 19 (6), 530-541

Whiteford, G. (2005). Understanding the occupational deprivation of refugees: A case study from Kosovo. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 72 (2), 78-88.

Yau, M. K. (1997). The impact of refugee resettlement on Southeast Asian adolescents and young adults: Implications for occupational therapists. Occupational Therapy International, 4 (1) 1-16.

Something missing? Get in touch!

Position Papers

World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT). (2014). Position Paper on Human Displacement. Retrieved from:

World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT). (2010). Position Paper on Diversity and Culture. Retrieved from:

World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT). (2006). Position Paper on Human Rights. Retrieved from:

Published chapters

Authored by occupational therapists in texts aimed at practitioners.

Davies, R. (2009). Working with refugees and asylum seekers: Challenging occupational apartheid. In N. Pollard, D. Sakellariou, & F. Kronenberg (Eds.), A political practice of occupational therapy (pp. 183-189). Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Limited.

Morville, A., & Erlandsson, L. (2017). Occupational deprivation for asylum seekers. In D. Sakellariou, & N. Pollard (Eds.), Occupational therapies without borders: Integrating justice with practice (pp. 381–389). Edinburgh: Elsevier.

Smith, Y.J. (2017). Occupational Justice & Advocacy: Work with Former Refugees & Asylum Seekers at Personal and Community Levels. In N. Pollard & D. Sakellariou (Eds.), Occupational therapies without borders (pp. 433-440). New York:Elsevier.

Smith, Y.J. (2016). Fostering Cultural Awareness through Fieldwork Experiences with People from a Refugee Background, in S. Wells, R. Black, & J. Gupta (Eds.), Culture & Occupation (3rd Edition) (pp. 333-343). Bethesda, MD: AOTA.

Trimboli, C. (2017). Occupational justice for asylum seeker and refugee children: Issues, effects, and action. In Sakellariou, D. & Pollard, N. (Eds.), Occupational therapies without borders: Integrating justice with practice (pp. 460–467). Edinburgh: Elsevier.

Whiteford, G. (2004). Occupational issues of refugees. In Mollineux M. (Ed.) (2004). Occupation for occupational therapists. Oxford: Blackwell, 183 – 99.

Wilson, C. (2008). Illustrating occupational needs of refugees. In Pollard, N., Sakellariou, D., Kronenberg, F., & van Bruggen, H. (Eds.), A political practice of occupational therapy (pp. 191-196). Edinburgh: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.

Know about another peer-reviewed chapter? Get in touch!

Doctoral and Masters dissertation 

Adams, E. & Peterson, M. (2018). Occupational justice concerns for Muslim refugees in the United States. (Unpublished Occupational Therapy Capstone, Master of Occupational Therapy, University North Dakota). Retrieved from:

Lund, E. (2012). Refugee Resettlement Through the Lens of Occupational Therapy (Unpublished masters dissertation, School of Occupational Therapy, Puget Sound University). Retrieved from:

Morville, A-L. (2014). Daily occupations among asylum seekers – Experience, performance and perception (unpublished doctoral dissertation, Department of Health Sciences, Lund University). Retrieved from:

Something to add? Get in touch!

Online platforms to engage peers

Occupational Therapy International Online Network (OTION) is a discussion board for occuaptional therapists to exchange on practice, students, education, working and studying overseas, and evidence based practice and research. It is hosted by World Federation of Occuaptional Therapists (WFOT).

Forced Migration 4 OT  is a Facebook group for occupational therapists interested in forced migration. It it part of the suite of OT4OT Facebook groups.

Occupational Therapy Association Special Interest Groups 

Occupational Therapy Australia members can ask to join the mailing list for the Refugee Settlement Special Interest Group for free webinars every two months.

American Occupational Therapy Association has multicultural networking groups, and a group aimed at increasing the diversity of the occupational therapy workforce.

Canadian Association of Occupational Therapy has Occupational Justice for Newcomers Network

Online Professional Development

WFOT Congress 2018, presenter slides and keynotes

Human Rights Education Association (HERA) delivers short courses online

Managing Gender Based Violence in Emergencies (UNPF) excellent online modules

Somatic Symptom Disorder, webinar recording to understand how trauma and distress can often manifest in the body.

Other ideas? Get in touch!

Other resources

Intercultural practice skills

United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO). (2013). Intercultural competences: Conceptual and operational framework. Retrieved from:


You need a practice supervision even if they do not work in your organisation, or are not an expert working with displaced people.

Use your network, and your professional association to find someone who cares about you, what you are doing, that you respect as a professional.

Current Awareness

You can subscribe to table of contents alerts for peer-reviewed journals about human displacement to build a broad multidisciplinary awareness.

Forced Migration Review is the most widely read publication on the topic free online in English, Arabic, French, and Spanish.
Refugee Law Initiative has presentations on current events on Soundcloud.
Subscribe to the news desk of International Organisation for Migration (IOM) – the United Nations Migration Agency.
Refugee Studies Centre has seminar series on current issues on Soundcloud.
Research Networks
Other resource ideas? Get in touch!