Tuesday, April 12, 2011

OT A to Z: K is for Kielhofner

What else could "K" be today but Kielhofner?

Any OT - and OT student - knows of Gary Kielhofner. Dr. Kielhofner was a passionate OT, a groundbreaking theorist, an educator and researcher, and a mentor to countless OTs in the US and abroad. He developed the Model of Human Occupation, more commonly know as MOHO, which is used internationally by OTs. The OT community was truly saddened by his passing in September 2010 at only 61 years of age. One must wonder what else he would have accomplished in years to come.

I never had the honor of meeting Dr. Kielhofner in person. I did attend several of his presentations at AOTA conferences over the years and was struck by how approachable and affable he was, despite all of his accomplishments. I am also on the MOHO listserv and similarly was always impressed at the lengthy and thoughtful responses he provided on the listserv, regardless of whether the person was a notable international colleague or an OT student grasping the concepts of MOHO for the first time. In addition to his intellect and creativity, graciousness was clearly a strong part of his character.

If you missed some of the many tributes for Dr, Kilefhofner, I have provided some links:





  1. A fitting tribute.
    I missed out on meeting him because I was ill and had to cancel my attendance at a course he was running. I'm only just really starting to explore the MOHO now.

  2. I too wish I would have been able to meet him. It is truly a loss for the OT community. I agree with you that one of the strengths of MOHO it can be applied as we come to understand things differently throughout our practice.

  3. Kielhofner's work has probably had the most influence on my OT training so far. I'm pleased that you mentioned the listserv because that was something that struck me immediately - how he was involved not only in answering "complex" questions, but also contributing to the development of those new to the model.

    I was leaving for a music festival the morning I received an email about him going in to hospital, and I must admit that he was on my mind throughout the weekend. Although I never met him, I was so sad when he passed away and (as you mentioned) thought: how much more could he have achieved.

  4. Clarissa - I know what you mean about feeling very sad upon hearing of his illness and then upon his death. I just kept thinking about what a loss it was for the OT community.

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