First German University Professorship in Ergotherapy

Dr. Katharina Röse became Professor in Ergotherapy at the University of Lübeck on 1 May 2019.

She has already been working at the university since 1 September 2017 and alongside Prof. Annette Baumgärtner is developing the additional study programmes for ergotherapy and logopaedics. As of winter semester 2019/20, these will merge in the joint ergotherapy/logopaedics additional study programme with two specialities. Dr. Katharina Röse has now become Germany’s first Professor in Ergotherapy.

The ergotherapy/logopaedics study programme with the specialisation ergotherapy is the first university programme that enables already qualified ergotherapists to acquire an additional bachelor’s degree. “Basing the ergotherapy programme at the Medicine Section of the University of Lübeck fulfils the request of the Council of Science and Humanities to locate health-related programmes at medical universities, and makes it possible to link the activity- and everyday life-focused aspects of ergotherapy with medical knowledge,” says Prof. Röse.

New continuing education initiative

Prof. Röse would like to see the close linking of theory and practice in the programme. “I find it important, when teaching, to help students learn how to acquire knowledge and competence independently as well as to critically reflect on their views and professional actions.” Together with Prof. Baumgärtner, she would like to develop a practice-based research network that will help to link the university to local ergotherapeutic, logopaedic, and interdisciplinary health institutions in Lübeck und Schleswig-Holstein. The aim of the network is, among other things, to address questions such as those relating to bachelor theses or study projects, and to offer new ideas for practice in return. The first step will soon be taken with the launch of a new continuing education initiative, the Therapeutic Practice Day (TPP).

Prof. Röse’s professional development is similar to that of the ergotherapy students at the University of Lübeck. Born in Jena in 1975, she initially trained as an ergotherapist at a medical academy and worked as an ergotherapist with an emphasis on social paediatrics. In order to gain additional academic qualifications, she then studied, while continuing to work, ergotherapy (B.Sc.) at the Alice Solomon University of Applied Sciences Berlin, followed by management and quality development with a focus on research and quality development (M.Sc.). With a grant from the Robert Bosch Foundation she then obtained her doctorate in the interdisciplinary research group “Multimorbidity in old age” at the Institute of Medical Sociology and Rehabilitation Science at the Charité University Hospital, Berlin, with a qualitative study on the topic of “The activities of persons with dementia in care homes.”

In Lübeck, the 43-year-old would like to continue her research into human activity in the context of illness and, for example, examine the question of what it means to those affected to be able to cope with everyday life and manage life transitions when ill, and to re-learn or learn activities for the first time. Her research is rooted in occupational science, the most important discipline relating to ergotherapy. Prof. Röse is committed to establishing occupational science in Germany. She is on the Board of Occupational Science Europe (OSE) and co-founder of German Occupational Science (dOS).

Professorin Gabriele Gillessen-Kaesbach (right), President of the University of Lübeck, handed the certificate to Professor Katharina Röse (Photo: Elena Vogt / Uni Lübeck)