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Comparing an Occupational Therapy Definition and Consumers' Experiences: a Q Methodology Study

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Occupational therapy has been defined as a complex intervention (Creek 2003), on behalf of the College of Occupational Therapists. This definition was generated from a study involving occupational therapists but not consumers of services. The aim of the present study was to explore how Creek's (2003) definition of occupational therapy compared with the experience of ex-consumers whose contact with occupational therapy had been through stroke services.

A Q methodology study was conducted with 16 participants recruited through stroke clubs in two large cities. A Q-sort pack of 32 statements was developed based upon Creek's (2003) definition of occupational therapy. Participants sorted the statements along a 'least to most' continuum, indicating how much each statement reflected their own experience of receiving occupational therapy.

Following analysis, six factors were identified which suggested that, for these participants, occupational therapy: facilitated and improved their sense of self; recognised the importance of being heard; provided practical assistance; assisted with maintaining autonomy; generated the desire for involvement; and had general benefits. The factors identified reflected aspects of Creek's (2003) definition of occupational therapy and suggested congruence in certain concepts between the professional body and consumers. Although limited by the fact that the participants had accessed different occupational therapy services some time ago, this study also introduces a method of obtaining consumers' views of occupational therapy.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 1, 2005

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 http://www.cot.co.uk/british-journal-bjot/british-journal-occupational-therapy

    Submissions can be made at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/bjot

    The 2012 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 1.096.

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