Actual and preferred work activites of mental health Occupational Therapists: Congruence or Discrepancy

Lloyd, C.A., King, R. and McKenna, K. T. (2004) Actual and preferred work activites of mental health Occupational Therapists: Congruence or Discrepancy. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 67 4: 167-175.


Author Lloyd, C.A.
King, R.
McKenna, K. T.
Title Actual and preferred work activites of mental health Occupational Therapists: Congruence or Discrepancy
Journal name British Journal of Occupational Therapy   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0308-0226
Publication date 2004-04-01
Volume 67
Issue 4
Start page 167
End page 175
Total pages 9
Editor V. Barnett
Place of publication London, UK
Publisher College of Occupational Therapists
Collection year 2004
Language eng
Subject C1
321024 Rehabilitation and Therapy - Occupational and Physical
730303 Occupational, speech and physiotherapy
Abstract The reform of Australian mental health services has resulted in new models of care and changed work practices for all mental health professionals. Occupational therapists today are as likely to be working in multidisciplinary teams performing a range of generic clinical roles as they are to be working in specialist rehabilitation units. These kinds of changes have taken place in other countries, with anecdotal and some empirical evidence that the changes have resulted in concerns about loss of professional identity and roles. This study sought to identify the current work activities carried out by occupational therapists and to determine whether there was a discrepancy between their actual and desired work activities. It was expected that, overall, they would indicate a preference to do more specialist rehabilitation focused work and less generic case management work. A survey of 196 occupational therapists investigated their actual and preferred work activities in 55 specific roles across four broad categories (senior administration, specialist clinical, general clinical and community development). As expected, the participants indicated that they would prefer to be undertaking more specialist rehabilitation oriented work activities than they were actually doing. Contrary to expectations, they also wished to undertake more rather than less generic clinical work activities, to be more engaged in community development work and to take on more senior and administrative roles. They indicated a preference for less rather than more activity on only 5 of the 55 work roles examined. On examining a subset of 113 participants who reported that 50% or more of their time was spent in case management, there was greater evidence of resistance to generic clinical roles. It was therefore concluded that occupational therapists in Australia are seeking to deploy their specialist skills to a greater degree than the current practice environment permits. They have broadly accepted the generic roles required in multidisciplinary community case management, but those who are actually working in these roles are most likely to have reservations about this kind of work.
Q-Index Code C1

 
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Created: Wed, 15 Aug 2007, 03:11:36 EST