An Understanding of Religious Doing: A Photovoice Study

Patricia Eyres, Katrina Bannigan, Gayle Letherby

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
104 Downloads (Pure)


The ability to participate in everyday activities that hold meaning and value is a determinant of health and wellbeing. Occupational therapists work with people when health and social barriers limit this valued participation. However a challenge persists in including religious practice or ‘doing’ within therapy, with many occupational therapists feeling ill-equipped and reluctant to address religious doing. The study reported here examines religious doing within the lives of participants from a number of faith traditions. A photovoice method is used, with participants discussing photographs that they have taken to describe their religious doing. Data are analyzed using a phenomenological reflective lifeworld approach. Findings are grouped into six themes and are explored using both verbatim quotes from transcripts and some of the photographs taken by participants. A reflective description of the core aspects of participants’ practical religious doing is constructed from the data, with the intention of providing occupational therapists with a basis from which to begin to consider practical religious doing within the lives of their clients. It is proposed that occupational therapists do not need an in-depth knowledge of theology and doctrine but rather an understanding of key and familiar occupational principles such as person-centred habits and routines, and community connectedness.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages19
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2019


  • religious practice
  • doing
  • occupational therapy
  • occupation
  • participation


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