Questioning: a critical skill in postmodern health-care service delivery

Carey A. Brown, Katrina Bannigan, Joanna R. Gill

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Occupational therapists can no longer rely exclusively on biomedical frameworks to guide their practice and facilitate clinical problem-solving. A postmodernist perspective of health and well-being underlines that the illness experience is not a linear, cause-and-effect equation. Rather, life experiences are constructed through a myriad of social, cultural, physical and economic contexts that are highly unique to each individual. In other words, the assumption that ‘one-size-fits-all’ is as flawed in health care as it is in clothing design.

This paper contributes to the growing discussion of health care within the postmodern context of the twenty-first century through first presenting a brief discussion of emerging postmodern thinking and application within the profession, followed by a rationale for the need to scrutinise prevalent modernist assumptions that guide decision-making. Finally, the paper introduces the method of Socratic questioning as a critical tool in successfully carrying out this scrutiny in an empowering and respectful manner for all stakeholders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-210
Number of pages5
JournalAustralian Occupational Therapy Journal
Issue number3
Early online date19 May 2009
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2009


  • occupational therapy
  • postmodernity
  • Socratic questioning
  • decision-making


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