Occupational Needs of Adolescents with Disabilities: A Case of Rural Community in the Philippines


  • Karl Jerick Lim Southwestern University PHINMA
  • Deborah Nissi Nuñez Southwestern University PHINMA
  • Sergio Sarza Jr. Southwestern University PHINMA




Social science, Adolescents with special needs, Community-based rehabilitation, Health, Occupational needs, Occupational Therapy, Well-being, and Persons with Disability (PWDs)


Occupational needs refer to an individual’s need to engage in meaningful occupations throughout his/her day-to-day life. Certain external factors may influence an adolescent’s occupational need, including socio-economic factors, current health status, cultural beliefs or institutional environment, health education, and medical resources. In third-world countries, occupational needs are apparent and have reduced opportunities to acquire work or participate in leisure participation/exploration for clients who have a physical impairment in the community leading to unsatisfied well-being. In addition, adolescents with disabilities may find it challenging to perform their daily occupations. The researchers aimed to identify the occupational needs of adolescents with disabilities currently attending therapy services in the Argao Community-Based Project. The study utilized a convenience sampling technique and was conducted in a rural community in Argao Cebu with eight participants. The researcher collected data through one-on-one semi-structured interviews. The narratives were then transcribed and analyzed to come up with the top occupational needs of the adolescents. Several themes emerged based on the adolescents’ narratives on their occupational needs.  The themes included: Sustaining Role, Values, Priorities, Essential Occupational Performance, and Belonging to a Group. The researchers found an interdependence between the themes. An occupational therapy program was then proposed to meet the said needs.


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Author Biographies

Karl Jerick Lim, Southwestern University PHINMA

Mandaue City, Philippines

Deborah Nissi Nuñez, Southwestern University PHINMA

Cebu City, Philippines

Sergio Sarza Jr., Southwestern University PHINMA


Cebu City, Philippines


American Journal of Occupational Therapy. (August 2020) Vol. 74, 7412410010. Retrieved from https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2020.74S2001




How to Cite

Lim, K. J., Nuñez, D., & Sarza Jr., S. (2021). Occupational Needs of Adolescents with Disabilities: A Case of Rural Community in the Philippines. JPAIR Multidisciplinary Research, 44(1), 46–64. https://doi.org/10.7719/jpair.v44i1.663