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Profile, practice and perspectives of occupational therapists in community mental health teams in Ireland

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The Mental Health Commission (2006a) and the Department of Health and Children (2006) have identified a gap in the knowledge relating to the interventions carried out by mental health workers in community mental health teams (CMHTs) in Ireland. The purpose of this research was to address this gap by exploring the profile, the work practices and the perspectives of occupational therapists working in CMHTs in Ireland.

A mixed methodological approach was chosen: survey questionnaires (quantitative) were sent to 40 occupational therapists working in CMHTs, with 21 responding (52.5% response rate), and semi-structured interviews (qualitative) were carried out with six occupational therapists.

The results suggest that occupational therapists working in CMHTs are experienced and are generally satisfied in their positions. Occupational therapists in this setting offer a wide variety of interventions, guided by models of practice, frames of reference and outcome measures. The issues facing occupational therapists include a lack of resources, role blurring and the need for access to supervision and postgraduate education specifically tailored to mental health. Finally, the findings suggest the need for occupational therapists to establish a channel in which to inform wider mental health practice of their contribution to clients' recovery journeys.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4276/030802210X12734991664228

Publication date: May 1, 2010

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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