Date Presented 04/20/2023

Despite understanding the importance of sustainable practice, OTs testify to a lack of knowledge. Therefore, there is a need to expose OTs to sustainable practice through professional training and education.

Primary Author and Speaker: Michal Hochhauser

Contributing Authors: Sonya Meyer

In 2012, the World Federation of Occupational Therapy (WFOT) published a position paper on sustainable professional practice calling on occupational therapists to address the global sustainability crisis. In 2018, guidelines were published for education and sustainable practice in occupational therapy. The purpose of the study was to examine the perspectives of Israeli occupational therapists on their sustainable professional practice. An anonymous online survey was distributed to licensed occupational therapists via email and social networks. The survey included questions about knowledge on sustainability and its integration into professional practice. One hundred and eleven occupational therapists throughout the country, across all practice areas, completed the survey. Results were based on descriptive analysis. Social equality for the occupational therapy profession was rated as the most important principle (82%), followed by economic prosperity (46%) and environmental and ecological integrity (32%). Most respondents indicated that their work organization does not have any sustainability related policy (24.9%) or they are not sure about it (24.07%). Knowledge was indicated as the biggest challenge that prevents them from integrating sustainable professional practice in their work (25%), in addition to time (17%), the organization’s support (17%), ability to influence (13%), and incentive (13%). Occupational therapists in Israel understand the importance of sustainability in professional practice but lack knowledge in the field. We suggest promoting and increasing knowledge in the field of sustainable occupational therapy practice for therapists and students. Sustainable occupational therapy practice can be understood as the ability to choose and participate in meaningful and healthy occupations without threatening the availability of resources to enable other people to participate in their present and future significant occupations.


Crystal C.Y. Chan, Lois Lee & Jane A. Davis. (2020). Understanding sustainability: Perspectives of Canadian occupational therapists. World Federation of Occupational Therapists Bulletin, 76(1), 50–59.

Shann, S., Ikiugu, M., Whittaker, B., Pollard, N., Kahlin, I., Hudson, M., ... & Aoyama, M. (2018). Sustainability matters: Guiding principles for sustainability in occupational therapy practice, education and scholarship.

Pollard, N., Galvaan, R., Hudson, M., KÅhlin, I., Ikiugu, M., Roschnik, S., ... & Whittaker, B. (2020). Sustainability in occupational therapy practice, education and scholarship. World Federation of Occupational Therapists Bulletin, 76(1), 2–3.