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South African Journal of Occupational Therapy

On-line version ISSN 2310-3833
Print version ISSN 0038-2337


GRETSCHEL, Pam; RAMUGONDO, Elelwani L.  and  GALVAAN, Roshan. An introduction to Cultural Historical Activity Theory as a theoretical lens for understanding how occupational therapists design interventions for persons living in low-income conditions in South Africa. S. Afr. j. occup. ther. [online]. 2015, vol.45, n.1, pp.51-55. ISSN 2310-3833.

Cultural Historical Activity Theory (CHAT) is a cogent conceptual tool to guide thinking about, observations of and analyses of what people do. This article offers an introduction to the basic tenants of CHAT. It describes how CHAT can be applied as a meta-theory in a case study, which explores the processes by which a group of occupational therapists designed a new occupational therapy intervention for caregivers of HIV positive children living in low-income conditions in South Africa. Drawing on CHAT this paper proposes that occupational therapy intervention design could be viewed from a collective and also a historical and socio-cultural perspective. This allows for the discovery and analysis of the potential enablers and limits to innovative, relevant and critically considered occupational therapy interventions in the South African context.

Keywords : activity theory; occupational therapy; intervention design; HIV [AIDS]; children; action research.

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