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Research Areas

The PPGTO of UFSCar has a Focused research interest on Processes of Intervention in Occupational Therapy, which is intended to account for an epistemological perspective of the field, as well as intrinsic aspects of the practices developed by Occupational Therapy. It deals with research on occupational therapy interventions, from assessment to intervention, which focuses on the processes of social inclusion and exclusion that are submitted to the populations to whom Occupational Therapy delivery in Brazil, from promotion, prevention, and rehabilitation.

The three Research Areas, on the other hand, contextualize the knowledge production about occupational therapy interventions in specific contexts as following: 1) “Promotion of Human Development in Daily Life Contexts” focuses on health promotion and human development. 2) “Social Networks and Vulnerabilities” research line focuses on the social inclusion and participation of socioeconomically disadvantaged groups. And 3) “Care, Social Emancipation and Mental Health” emphasizes the occupational therapy in  mental health. All areas consider individual and collective groups.

These areas focus on studies related to:

  •  the typical and atypical development of the human being;
  •  the analysis and adaptation activities of daily live for populations with special needs due to temporary or chronic disabilities;
  •  the care of subjects and groups in psychic suffering;
  •  the development of new technologies of occupational therapy interventions that minimize dependency and facilitate autonomy in the different contexts of everyday life (at home, school, work, social life);
  •  the inclusion of populations in processes of disruption of social support;
  •  the study of public policies directed to the populations for whom Occupational Therapy is delivered;
  •  the theoretical-methodological references for Occupational Therapy;
  •  the production and application of new knowledge and intervention technologies in Occupational Therapy to approach social issues.


These themes are objects of investigation in Occupational Therapy, socially relevant, that respond to the many needs of Brazilian society.


Research Area - Promotion of Human Development in Daily Life Contexts

The goal of this research area is to study the interventions in Occupational Therapy, in the contexts of people's daily life throughout their life cycles, from the point of view of human development, contemplating processes of functionality and disability, as well as risk factors.

The epistemological foundations of this research area come from Health, Education and Occupational Therapy and are based on studies of neurobiological, cognitive and psychosocial bases of human development to support research projects that seeks: to understand how human activity or occupation and how the environment interfere in the promotion of healthy development, people’s participation and engagement in daily life, occupational performance, independence and autonomy, within a perspective aimed at developing skills and opportunities for social inclusion.

It makes use of qualitative and/or quantitative research methods. Research is aimed at creating social technologies, therapeutic resources and interventions that facilitate and enable the development, the occupational performance and the engagement in meaningful occupations in different everyday contexts, in situations of temporary or permanent impairments, seeking to promote improvement in quality of life. 

Faculties responsible for the projects in this research are: Claudia Maria Simões Martinez, Mirela de Oliveira Figueiredo, Patrícia Carla de Souza Della Barba, Regina H. V. Torkomian Joaquim and Tatiana Barbieri Bombarda. In addition, the collaborating faculty member that work in this research area is Daniel Marinho Cezar da Cruz.


Research Area - Social Networks and Vulnerabilities

The goal of this research area is to study Occupational Therapy interventions with populations in situations of social vulnerability and the development of social technologies of inclusion, participation, and autonomy. Dialogue with social issues such as poverty, social policies, urban space occupation, cultural identity, access to services such as health, education, culture, welfare, justice, and related issues.

Thus, the studies are conducted with a focus on children and adolescents in situations of social vulnerability, on contemporary youth, in street situations, on the inclusion and social participation of people with disabilities and people with mental health disorders, in the generation of income and values related to the world of work and others.

Its epistemological contribution comes from Public Health, Education, Social Sciences, especially Anthropology and Sociology, and Social Occupational Therapy, seeking to base studies on practices and processes of cultural transformation and social exclusion/inclusion, territorial and community approaches, formal and non-formal education, combining references for the development of intervention methodologies required in these specific contexts.

Faculties responsible for the projects of this research are: Ana Paula Serrata Malfitano, Carla Regina Silva, Fátima Correa Oliver, Lilian Vieira Magalhães, Lívia Celegati Pan, Patrícia Leme de Oliveira Borba and Roseli Esquerdo Lopes. 


Research Area - Care, Social Emancipation and Mental Health

The goal of this research area is to study Occupational Therapy interventions with populations in distress mental health disorders, in their most diverse problems, aiming at the mental health care of individual and collectives as a strength to perform meaningful activities/occupations in daily life in a social emancipation perspective.

The research area works with epistemological contributions of Mental Health in its relations with Public Health and Human and Social Sciences, dialoguing with the assumptions of Occupational Therapy in Psychosocial Rehabilitation, Occupational Therapy as Life Production and Dynamic Occupational Therapy. The research encompasses contributions of occupational therapy focusing on: a) the e subjects’ singularities and their contexts, highlighting the territory and the psychosocial care delivery, b) the existing and potential specificities for the development of social and care technologies and processes of social emancipation.

The research projects involve topics such as occupational therapy and psychosocial care; therapeutic processes and clinical-professional reasoning; adult and child mental health; social inclusion through work and solidarity economy; processes of social emancipation; public health policies; management and work processes; collaborative networks for work and continuing education with an emphasis on mental health.

Faculties responsible for the projects of this research are: Amanda Dourado Souza Akahosi Fernandes,  Isabela Aparecida de Oliveira Lussi, Maria Fernanda Barboza Cid, Sabrina Helena Ferigato, Tais Quevedo Marcolino, and Teresinha Cid Constantinidis In addition, the collaborating faculty member that work in this research area is Thelma Simões Matsukura.



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