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About me

Currently, I am Assistant Professor (Biträdande Lektor) at the Division of Occupational Therapy at Karolinska Institutet.  I received my Ph.D. in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences (field of occupational science) from Western University (2017) and European M.Sc. in Occupational Therapy from Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (2012). Previously, I completed a five-year B.Sc. in Human Occupation and a professional degree in Occupational Therapy at the University of Chile (2008). Moreover, I am a licensed Occupational Therapist in Chile and Sweden with work experience in both countries. 

Research description

The broad goal of my research is to explore and address issues of inequity that affect the promotion of people’s health and social well-being. To advance this intent, my research has focused around two main areas: a) examination of political, cultural and socioeconomic factors that exclude particular groups of people from fully participating in society, and b) exploration of occupational therapy’s role and contribution to society by critically analyzing the assumptions and values that guide practice. Addressing these areas, I have primarily drawn on critical theoretical perspectives to problematize what is often taken-for-granted and promote new viewpoints, reflections, and possibilities for action.

One of my early research experiences focused on the exploration of the intersections between identity, culture, and occupation after forced migration. This type of research adds to the body of knowledge that seeks to expand understandings of health associated to the presence/absence of illness to consider how social processes such as migration affect the health of individuals and communities. Additionally, I have also been involved in research that seeks to enact collaborative processes with people who experience varying forms of marginalization. As an example of this, my doctoral thesis forwards a methodological approach for the development of critical dialogue with various social groups by promoting values such as transparency and democratization of the research process. My dissertation also examines the potential barriers that may emerge when developing occupation-based participatory work by using dialogical interviews and critical reflexivity with practitioners located in diverse geographical locations. Building on this work, I hope to continue expanding occupation-based research and practice by collaborating with other researchers and community organizations interested in exploring and addressing health and social inequities. 

Publications in occupational science:

Magalhães, L., Farias, L., Rivas-Quarneti, N., Alvarez, L., & Malfitano, A. P. S. (2018). The development of occupational science outside the Anglophone sphere: Enacting global collaboration. Journal of Occupational Science, 1-12. doi:10.1080/14427591.2018.1530133

Farias, L., & Laliberte Rudman, D. (2016). A critical interpretative synthesis of the uptake of critical perspectives in occupational science. Journal of Occupational Science, 23(1), 33-50. doi:10.1080/14427591.2014.989893

Farias, L., & Asaba, E. (2013). The family knot:  Negotiating identities and cultural values through everyday occupations of an immigrant family in Sweden. Journal of Occupational Science, 20(1), 36-47. doi:10.1080/14427591.2013.764580

Publications in other languages: 

Veiga Seijo, S., Farias, L., & Rivas Quarneti, N. (2017) El trabajo precario como ocupación situada: Estudio exploratorio de experiencias de trabajadores en el contexto de crisis económica española [Precarious work as situated occupation: Exploratory study of workers' experiences in the context of Spanish economic crisis]. Brazilian Journal of Occupational Therapy, 25 (4).DOI:

González, L., Rivas-Quarneti, N., & Farías, L. (2016). Estudio de alcance de terapia ocupacional y drogodependencias: Reflexiones críticas de los contextos, prioridades y miradas en la investigación [A scoping review of Occupational Therapy literature on drug addiction: Critical reflections on contexts, priorities and research perspectives]. Revista Chilena de Terapia Ocupacional, 12(2), 9-21. doi:10.5354/0717-5346.2016.44747

Farias, L., & López, C. (2013). La formación de pregrado de Terapia ocupacional en Chile visto desde la perspectiva de los estudiantes: ¿Cuál es la percepción de necesidades que tienen los estudiantes de Terapia Ocupacional en relación a su proceso de formación? [Occupational Therapy undergraduate education in Chile seen from the students’ perspective: What are students’ perceptions of needs in relation their undergraduate education?] Revista Chilena de Terapia Ocupacional, 13 (1), 43-50. doi:10.5354/0717-6767.2013.27451

Farias, L. (2012). Experiencias de Terapeutas Ocupacionales trabajando en el extranjero: La influencia de la propia cultura en la práctica profesional [Experiences of Occupational Therapists working abroad: The influence of one’s own culture on professional practice]. Revista de Terapia Ocupacional Galicia, TOG A Coruña, 9(15), 21.

Fagnilli, J., & Farias, L. (2011). Sistematización de las experiencias del curso en línea “nuevas tecnologías y Terapia Ocupacional”: Nuevas competencias para la Terapia Ocupacional [Systematization of the experiences of the on line course “New Technologies and Occupational Therapy”: New Competences for Occupational Therapy]. Revista Chilena de Terapia Ocupacional, 11(1), 65-77. doi:10.5354/0717-6767.2011.17083

Farias, L., Guerra, V., Cifuentes, T., Rozas, S., & Riveros M. (2010). Consumo problemático de drogas y Terapia Ocupacional: Componentes Ocupacionales evaluados durante el proceso de tratamiento y rehabilitación [Problematic drug abuse and Occupational Therapy: Occupational Components assessed during the process of treatment and rehabilitation]. Revista Chilena de Terapia Ocupacional, 10, 45-56. doi:10.5354/0717-6767.2010.10559

Book Chapters

Nichols B., Farias L. (2018) Maternal Care in Guatemala: Problematizing Discourses of Development, Transnational Advocacy, and Indigeneity. In: Schwartz D. (eds) Maternal Death and Pregnancy-Related Morbidity Among Indigenous Women of Mexico and Central America. Global Maternal and Child Health (Medical, Anthropological, and Public Health Perspectives). Springer, Cham

Academic honours, awards and prizes

2019 Global Bridges (Strategic Grants - Research Area Health Care Science (SFO-V), Karolinska Institutet)

2018 Ingela Petersson Lies Memorial Fund (Division of Occupational Therapy, NVS, Karolinska Institutet)

2013-2017 The Ontario Trillium Scholarship (OTS) (Doctoral Fellowship, Ontario Province, Canada)

2013-2017 Western Graduate Research Scholarship (Western University, Canada)

2016 Student Research Grant in Occupational Science (Research Grant, Society for the Study of Occupation SSO:USA)         

2016 Great Ideas for Teaching (GIFT) Award (Teaching Award, Teaching Support Centre, Western University, Canada)                                                       

2015 Global Opportunities (GO) Award for Health Sciences (Western University, Canada)

2014 Award in Student Scholarship (The Canadian Society of Occupational Scientists, CSOS)

2013 Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) Award Declined (Ontario Province, Canada)

2007 The Linnaeus–Palme Scholarship (Linnaeus-Palme Foundation, Sweden)



Critical dialogical approach: A methodological direction for occupation-based social transformative work
Farias L, Laliberte Rudman D, Pollard N, Schiller S, Serrata Malfitano Ap, Thomas K, et al
Scandinavian journal of occupational therapy 2018;():1-11

Reclaiming the Potential of Transformative Scholarship to Enable Social Justice
Farias L, Rudman Dl, Magalhaes L, Gastaldo D

Rehabilitation: A post-critical approach
Farias L

Transnational Information Politics and the "Child Migration Crisis": Guatemalan NGOs Respond to Youth Migration
Nichols B, Umana K, Britton T, Farias L, Lavalley R, Hall-clifford R
VOLUNTAS 2017;28(5):1962-1987

Illustrating the Importance of Critical Epistemology to Realize the Promise of Occupational Justice
Farias L, Rudman Dl, Magalhaes L