Niki Kiepek

Associate Professor


Related information

Phone: 902-494-2609
Fax: 902-494-1229
Mailing Address: 
Room 211, Forrest Building, 5869 University Avenue PO Box 15000, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3H 4R2
Research Topics:
  • Occupation
  • Diversity Inclusion
  • Health Professional Education
  • Mental Health
  • Therapeutic Relationships
  • Addiction
  • Social justice
  • School of Occupational Therapy
  • Substance use

Note: Dr. Kiepek is accepting MSc(OS) students. Learn More.


  • BSc, University of Toronto
  • MSc(OT), University of Toronto
  • PhD, Western University

Research interests

In her work, Dr. Niki Kiepek applies critical theories to explore occupation as a social construct and investigates the construction of acceptable and unacceptable ways of acting and ways of being. The research has implications for understanding processes of social justice, inclusion, oppression, and marginalization in relation to occupational therapy practice and health service delivery. Her current research examines substance use by professionals and students in professional programs.
Project Website:

Selected publications

  • Kiepek, N., Jones-Bonofiglio, K., Freemantle, S., Byerley-Vita, M., & *Quaid, K. (2021). Exploring care of hospital inpatients with substance involvement. Social Science & Medicine. 10.1016/j.socscimed.2021.114071
  • Kiepek, N.(2020). Innocent observers? Discursive choices and the construction of “occupation.” Journal of Occupational Science. 10.1080/14427591.2020.1799847
  • Kiepek, N., Beagan, B., & Phelan, S. (2019, Nov) Enhancing occupation through use of substances: A critical interpretative synthesis. Brazilian Journal of Occupational Therapy /Cadernos Brasileiros de Terapia Ocupacional, 27(4), 843-857. doi: 10.4322/2526-8910.ctoar1926 
  • Kiepek, N.,Bartlett, N., Patenaude, S., & Scoffin, W.(2019, Sept/Oct). CAOT professional issue forum: Addressing addiction. Occupational Therapy Now, 21(5) ,11-12.
  • Gish, A.Kiepek, N.,& Beagan, B. (2019, July). Methamphetamine use among gay men: An interpretive review of a non-sanctioned occupation. Journal of Occupational Science, 27(1), 26-38. 10.1080/14427591.2019.1643398
  • Sy, M., Bontje, P., Ohshima, N., & Kiepek, N. (2019, July). Articulating the form, function, and meaning of drug using in the Philippines from the lens of morality and work ethics. Journal of Occupational Science, 27(1),12-21. doi: 10.1080/14427591.2019.1644662
  • Kiepek, N., Van der Ven, K., Forlini, C., & Dunn, M.(2019, July). Seeking legitimacy for broad understandings of substance use. International Journal of Drug Policy, 73, 58-63.doi: 10.1016/j.drugpo.2019.07.014
  • Kiepek, N., Marshall, C. A., Jaiswal, A., Bunting, K., &Park, M. (2019, May/June). Occupational matters. Occupational Therapy Now, 21(3), 25-27.
  • Kiepek, N., Harris, J., Beagan, B., & Buchanan, M. (2019, June). Substance use by social workers and implications for professional regulation. Drugs and Alcohol Today, 19(2), 147-159. doi: 10.1108/DAT-08-2018-0040
  • Kiepek, N., Aben, K., Adams, T., Baker, T., Dyck, C., Kwan, G., Rettie, D., Zubriski S., & Anonymous. (2018, Nov/Dec). Canadian occupational therapy education and practice to address addiction. Occupational Therapy Now, 20(6), 22-24.
  • Kiepek, N., Beagan, B., Laliberte Rudman, D. & Phelan, S. (2019, July). Silences around occupations framed as unhealthy, illegal, and deviant. Journal of Occupational Science, 26(3), 341-353. doi: 10.1080/14427591.2018.1499123 (available online 27 Jul 2018)
  • Kiepek, N. (2018, June). Ecological momentary assessment: Enriching knowledge of occupation using App-based research methodology. Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 6(3), 1-10. doi: 10.15453/2168-6408.1425
  • Kiepek, N., & Baron, J.-L. (2017). Use of substances among professionals and students of professional programs: A review of the literature. Drugs: Education, Intervention, and Policy, printed online Sept 15.
  • Kiepek, N., & Magalhaes, L. (2016). Exploring legitimacy and authority in the construction of truth regarding personal experiences of drug use. Addiction Research & Therapy, 7(2), 273.
  • Kiepek, N., Groom, B., Toppozini, D., Kakekagamuck, K., Muileboom, J., & Kelly, L. (2015). Evaluation of an inpatient medical withdrawal program in rural Ontario: A 1-year prospective study. Canadian Journal of Rural Medicine, 20(3), 92-97.
  • Kiepek, N., Phelan, S., & Magalhães, L. (2013). Introducing a critical analysis of the figured world of occupation. Journal of Occupational Science. doi: 10.1080/14427591.2013.816998
  • Kiepek, N., Hancock, L., Toppozini, D., Cromarty, H., Morgan, A. & Kelly, L. (2012). Development of a rural inpatient medical withdrawal support service. Rural and Remote Health, 12, 2193.
  • Kiepek, N., & Magalhães, L. (2011). Addictions and impulse-control disorders as occupation: A selected literature review and synthesis addictions and impulse-control disorders as occupation. Journal of Occupational Science, 18, 254-276.
  • Kiepek, N. (2008). Interactions between substance use and sexual behaviours for women receiving Alcohol and Other Drugs Services. INew Zealand Journal of Psychology, 37, 49-55.


  • LEIS 5602 Graduate Independent Study: Critical Discourse Analysis
  • Approved to supervise Masters and Doctoral students
  • OCCU 2000 Occupation and Daily Life
  • OCCU 5005 Enabling Occupation 2 – Musculoskeletal Conditions
  • OCCU 5000 Theories of Enabling, Occupation, & Justice
  • OCCU 5004 Occupational Assessment and Occupational Analysis
  • OCCU 5111 Practicum (Tutor)
  • OCCU 6000/6600 Applied Research I & II (Student Supervisor)
  • OCCU 6003 Advanced Practice – Motivational Interviewing
  • OCCU 6111 Fieldwork III
  • OCCU 6222 Fieldwork IV

Invited Guest Lectureships for Courses and Seminars

  • NURS 2080 Social and Cultural Determinants of Health
    Instructor: Dr. Ingrid Waldron
    Topic: Substance Use and Harm Reduction
    School of Nursing, Dalhousie University, February 3
    Bachelor of Nursing students
  • LEIS 5592 Interdisciplinary Basis of Leisure Science
    Instructor: Dr. Susan Hutchison
    Topic: Substance Use and Leisure
    Leisure Studies, Dalhousie University, October 20
    Masters level students,
  • OCCU 6130 Pharmacology for Occupational Therapists
    Instructor: Dr. Jim Fawcett
    Topic: OT Clinical Reasoning and Pharmacology
    School of Occupational Therapy, Dalhousie University, October 11
    Masters level students
  • IPHE 5100 A Multidisciplinary Course in Addiction Studies
    Coordinators: Drs. Mark Asbridge, Fiona Martin, Sherry Stewart, Jennifer Stamp
    Topic: Addiction-Related Disorders
    Interprofessional Health Education, Dalhousie University
    Graduate level students
  • OCCU 5001 Enabling Occupation 1
    Instructor: Dr. Cathy White
    Topic: Motivational Interviewing Introduction
    School of Occupational Therapy, Dalhousie University
    Masters level students
  • OCCU 5002 Health Conditions and Occupational Performance
    Instructor: Dr. Robin Stadnyk
    Topic: Licit, Illicit, and Prescribed Substance Use
    School of Occupational Therapy, Dalhousie University
    Masters level students


  • College of Occupational Therapists of Nova Scotia
  • Nova Scotia Society of Occupational Therapists
  • Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists
  • Canadian Society of Occupational Science
  • World Federation of Occupational Therapists
  • Motivation Interviewing Network of Trainers

Community involvement

  • Occupational Therapy and Aboriginal Peoples Health Network Canadian
  • Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT)

Selected awards and honours

  • Outstanding Reviewer for Drugs and Alcohol Today
  • Emerald Literati Network 2015 Awards for Excellence

Service and activity

  • Topic Editor; Rural and Remote Health
    Occupational Therapy Now
  • Editorial Board Member
    Publication: Performance Enhancement & Health