Rebecca Gewurtz

Phone: 289-426-0861
Fax: 905-524-0069
Office: IAHS Rm. 447


Dr. Gewurtz is an Associate Professor in the School of Rehabilitation Science.  She completed a bachelor degree in Occupational Therapy at Queen's University, and a Master’s of Science and PhD at the University of Toronto in Rehabilitation Science.  She also completed a collaborative program through the CHSRF/CIHR Ontario Training Centre in Health Services and Policy Research.  Her master’s thesis was a qualitative study on how consumers of community mental health services come to understand their potential for work.  Her doctoral dissertation explored the construction and implementation of changes to the employment support branch of the provincial disability benefit system, and its impact on employment services for people living with mental illness.  She received funding for her graduate work from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) of Canada and the Canadian Occupational Therapy Foundation.

Dr. Gewurtz’s research interests revolve around employment, community participation, disability benefit systems and income security, with a focus on people living with mental illnesses and other disabilities.  Her research program examines employment and community participation for people with disabilities, and the impact of social policy on how benefit systems and employment supports are experienced in practice.  Rebecca is leading a SSHRC funded study examining policy strategies for improving employment opportunities for people with mental illness as they enter disability income support systems in Canada.  She is also a co-investigator within the Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy (, and involved in projects exploring the experiences of injured workers, people with intermittent work capacity, and workplace accommodation policies and practices.

Research Expertise

Keywords: disability policy, social policy, employment services

Dr. Gewurtz has been involved in research exploring disability benefit systems, employment supports for people with disabilities, workplace accommodations and supported housing for people living with mental illnesses.  She is interested in how social and structural issues impact community participation and the delivery of services for people with disabilities.  She has expertise in qualitative research methodology and policy analysis.

Lab/Research Institute

Dr. Gewurtz is a co-investigator and provincial co-lead within the Centre for Research on Work Disability Policy (  She is also part of a group of researchers who have developed the Do-Live-Well framework (

Graduate Students

Dr. Gewurtz is currently accepting graduate students.  Interested students should send a CV and research interests to

Recent Publications

Search for citations for Dr. Gewurtz on PubMed

Book Chapters

Gewurtz R, Moll S, Poole JM, Rebeiro Gruhl K. Qualitative research in mental health and mental illness. In: Olson K, Young RA, Schultz IZ, editors. Handbook of Qualitative Health Research for Evidence-based Practice. New York (NY): Springer; 2016. p. 203-23.

Gewurtz R & Kirsh B. (2015). Organizational culture health frameworks for occupational therapy. In B. Kirsh & T. Krupa (Eds.), Bruce and Borg’s Psychosocial Frames of Reference: Theories, Models and Approaches for Occupational Therapy Practice (pp. 265-284), 4th Edition. Thorofare, NJ: Slack, Inc.

Journal Articles

VanderKaay S, Moll S, Gewurtz R, Jindal P, Lyola-Sanchez A, Packham T, Lim CY. Qualitative research in rehabilitation science. Disabil Rehabi. 2016. doi: 10.1080/09638288.2016.1261414 [epub ahead of print].

Gewurtz R, Coman L, Dhillon S, Jung B, Solomon P. Problem-based learning and theories of teaching and learning in health professional education. Journal of Perspectives in Applied Academic Practice. 2016;4(1):59-70.

Gewurtz R, Moll S, Letts L, Lariviere N, Levasseur M, Krupa T. What you do everyday matters: A new direction for health promotion. Can J Public Health. 2016;102(2):e205-e208.

Gewurtz R, Langan S, & Shand D. Hiring people with disabilities: A scoping review. Work. 2016;54(1): 135-48.

Moll SE, Gewurtz RE, Krupa TM, Law MC, Lariviere N, & Levasseur M. (2015). "Do-Live-Well": A Canadian framework for promoting occupation, health, and well-being. Can J Occup Ther, 82(1), 9-23.

Gewurtz RE, Cott C, Rush B, & Kirsh B. (2015). How does outcome-based funding affect service delivery? An analysis of consequences within employment services for people living with serious mental illness. Adm Policy Ment Health, 42(1), 19-28.

Gewurtz RE, Cott C, Rush B, & Kirsh B. (2015). How is unemployment among people with mental illness conceptualized within social policy? A case study of the Ontario Disability Support Program. Work, 51(1), 121-133.

General Information

Mailing Address:

School of Rehabilitation Sciences
Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University
Institute of Applied Health Sciences,
Room 403, 1400 Main St. W. Hamilton, ON L8S 1C7


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