The 55th Japanese Occupational Therapy Congress & Expo in Sendai 2021

Message from Chair

Katsuyuki Shibata

Katsuyuki Shibata, Chair

The 55th Japanese Occupational Therapy Congress & Expo

(School of Health Sciences, College of Medical, Pharmaceutical and Health Sciences, Kanazawa University)

 ◆New Horizons and Specializations in Occupational Therapy
 ―Passing the knowledge and technique baton to a creative generation―
 Starting with an outbreak of mysterious pneumonia, the rampant spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) around the world since the beginning of 2020 has transformed the movement in Japan and overseas. Needless to say, a great deal of anxiety and fear persists around the unpredictable situation of this viral infection capable of being transmitted through human-to-human contact. Today, we are all taking measures to prevent the infection from spreading, which has led to a new lifestyle taking root in our society. I sincerely hope that an effective treatment and vaccine will be made available and shared fairly as quickly as possible so that we can feel safe and secure in returning to our daily lives.

 Academic conferences and meetings scheduled in the first half of 2020 were either cancelled or moved online, and the 54th Japanese Occupational Therapy Congress & Expo (Chair, Ishikawa) was also held online. However, we came away with new knowledge that had not been seen at conventional academic conferences. Until this year, many of our members had been unable to attend the congress because of clinical workloads, but with the proceedings moved online, they could easily attend from the comfort of their own homes and offices. With the congress online, the participants were also able to listen to lectures and clinical research presentations on themes that were of interest whenever and as many times as they liked. Questions about abstracts could also be posted on boards and answered by presenters at a later date. This has led to the discovery of solutions to questions on clinical practices in a flat ICT environment where members on both sides can easily ask and answer questions and has become a new format recommended for future congresses.

 The 55th Japanese Occupational Therapy Congress & Expo will be held in 2021, which coincidentally is also when Japan will host the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It is with a mixture of emotions that we will hold the 55th congress in Sendai in the Tohoku region, which was the site of the 44th conference (Chair, Sato) eleven years ago and will also be the tenth year since the Great East Japan Earthquake.
 The theme of the 55th congress is “
 New Horizons and Specializations in Occupational Therapy
 ―Passing the knowledge and technique baton to a creative generation―
 Specializations and Integration in Occupational Therapy – Passing the knowledge and technique baton to a creative generation is our intention to innovate the field of occupational therapy by differentiating practices to delve deeper into specialties and newly integrating these practices into different fields, almost as if we are in a relay passing on a baton as we look to the future of occupational therapy based on a foundation of practical science that has been developed over the history of occupational therapy for the past 55 years.

 We are planning to hold the congress in Sendai in a hybrid format with a combination of meetings on-site and online sessions in a thoroughly-controlled environment to prevent infections. Special programs, such as keynote speeches, symposia and seminars related to the congress’s theme are being proposed for the interest of the participants. We are looking forward to your active abstract submissions and your registrations to the 55th Japanese Occupational Therapy Congress & Expo in Tohoku and having fruitful and enriching discussions for this congress success. Finally, we’d like to thank each of you for your cooperation and participation.