The influence of interoception on engagement in occupation: a scoping review

Wijnberg, Meagan Laura
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Interoception provides information on internal sensations facilitating awareness of the physiological condition of the body. Interoception is an emergent concept within occupational therapy research and practice due to its impact on occupational performance. Poor interoceptive awareness (IA) may affect occupational engagement through individuals under or over responding to interoceptive cues. Considered a key component in emotional experience, interoception contributes to performance in various occupational areas. This scoping review explored the relationship between interoception and occupational engagement. The Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) guidelines informed the methodology and involved a three-step search strategy using major scientific and grey literature databases. The search resulted in the extraction of thirteen articles (n=13) that met the inclusion criteria. Data analysis identified a relationship between IA and occupational engagement. Poor IA affects engagement in various occupational areas including activities of daily living, sleep, social participation, and education. The evidence related to interoception within occupational therapy is small but growing and IA appears to play a role in many conditions addressed by the occupational therapy profession. This research study could inform occupational therapy practice and future research related to interoception.
A research report submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Occupational Therapy to the Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Therapeutic Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, 2022