Organisational Change and Occupational Therapy

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Major restructuring of health care services has meant changes in service delivery, organisational structures and work practices. There has been a significant impact on the roles and responsibilities required of health care professionals in the current health care environment. The literature reveals that this often brings about conflict between professional values and organisational values. Although many of the current changes in health care are compatible with the philosophy of occupational therapy, there are policy and organisational factors that have an impact on occupational therapy practice and service delivery.

In this article, the emerging characteristics of the contemporary health care environment are identified and the strengths and weaknesses of the profession in adapting to this environment are discussed. It is argued that the survival and growth of the profession are dependent on the extent to which it is able to capitalise on strengths, overcome weaknesses, articulate its overall purpose and function and redefine its role and scope of practice in order to meet changed societal and organisational demands.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2002

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at

    Submissions can be made at

    The 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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