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Reviewing the theory and practice of occupational therapy in mental health rehabilitation

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The delineation of evidence-based practices in supported employment for people with schizophrenia now represents a paradigm shift in the theory and practice of mental health rehabilitation. The principles and methods of traditional vocational rehabilitation and traditional mental health rehabilitation are giving way to evidence-based practices in supported employment, which are consistently proving two to three times more effective at producing competitive employment outcomes.

These practices include close coordination with optimal forms of mental health treatment and care and highly individualised forms of intensive supported employment. There is a focus on the vocational services being provided, whereas the traditional and currently prevailing approach follows a more gradual and stepwise process with less of an individual focus, and where individual characteristics are considered important predictors of vocational rehabilitation success.

This paradigm shift now challenges occupational therapists working in mental health rehabilitation to revise their theory and practice critically in order to support the implementation of evidence-based practices in supported employment for people with schizophrenia and related psychotic disorders. This article discusses how occupational therapists can adapt to this paradigm shift and revitalise their theory and practice in mental health rehabilitation.


Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: July 1, 2009

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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