DLW in Primary Care


Why DLW?

Dr. Catherine Donnelly

DLW Infographic_Catherine

Catherine developed this infographic to use in her practice.

Dr. Catherine Donnelly is a registered Occupational Therapist and Professor at Queen’s University. Her clinical focus is in primary care and she works at the Queen’s Family Health Team – Belleville site. Her research interests include: primary care, interprofessional education/collaborative practice and knowledge translation.

What value does the framework add in your practice?

“This framework is the missing link needed to ground what we are doing in primary care. We [occupational therapists] understand the importance of activities to improve health, but we did not have an occupational therapy framework to conceptualize how activities can be used for wellness. The DLW framework provides the theoretical grounding for occupational therapists whose focus is on health and wellness. This framework bridges health and wellness and occupational therapy perspectives and ideally supports the work being done in primary care.”

“I also like that the DLW framework includes 5 ways of engaging in activities [activity patterns]; it’s not just what you do it’s how you do it. The framework helps clinicians break down how activities might be used for health and wellness and helps clients understanding the specific meaning of activities in their lives.”

Can you provide an example of how you incorporated DLW framework into practice?

“I have incorporated the DLW framework into a chronic illness support group through a time use wheel. Participants coloured in the daily activities that they participated in for a week using the 8 dimensions of experience. The principles of the DLW framework were used to reflect on activities that participants were engaging in and types of activities that were missing from their time use wheel.”

“Also, I have used the DLW framework with a client with COPD. He had self-management strategies, but was completely disengaged – and interested in becoming more active. We discussed meaningful activities and used the 8 dimensions of experience to identify areas in which to focus. He has started a daily walking program and is focusing on activities that promote creative expression, reengaging him in a book that he had started to write.”