eISSN: 1734-4948
ISSN: 0860-6161
Advances in Rehabilitation
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vol. 31

The Kawa Model in occupational therapy and its application in the rehabilitation of a mentally challenged patient

Edyta Janus

Postępy Rehabilitacji (1), 27 – 36, 2017
Online publish date: 2017/08/05
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The article aims to provide information on the Kawa Model and its application in occupational therapy. The model uses the metaphor of a river to depict a human life journey. Particular constructs connected with a river such as water, river side walls, driftwood or rocks represent elements of individuals’ social environment as well as their resources and limitations.

Case study
The application of the Kawa Model in occupational therapy makes it possible to recognize and interpret the state of a patient taking into account social and cultural contexts. It also helps to structure an individual’s narration.

The situation of a patient diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia is analysed according to the presented model and shown in both graphic and descriptive versions.

As well as analysing theoretical aspects of implementing the Kawa Model, the present study shows elements of practical applications of this concept when working with a schizophrenic patient.


occupational therapist, activity, psychiatry, paranoid schizophrenia, social context

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