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Developing an observed practice programme for occupational therapists and physiotherapists: reporting the first phase of an action research study

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Occupational therapists working in higher education have acknowledged the benefits of peer observation to their professional development and there has been discussion of its potential benefits in clinical settings. However, there is limited literature and no practical guidance on the implementation of observed practice within clinical practice.

This action research study sought to develop a work-based observed practice programme for occupational therapists and physiotherapists in a United Kingdom mental health trust. Action research was chosen to enable the positive engagement of practitioners in order to co-create knowledge and to improve practice. Occupational therapists and physiotherapists with expertise of local practice and personal experience of staff development and clinical supervision formed a working group to develop and implement the programme.

The group considered examples of similar programmes from higher education and addressed issues relating to the purpose, status and process of the programme. It also explored its relationship to existing preceptorship programmes and clinical supervision. This paper summarises the key steps of the observed practice process and the development of supporting documentation created by the working group. The observed practice programme was implemented at workshops in the autumn of 2009 to be followed by a formal evaluation.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4276/030802210X12813483277224

Publication date: August 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 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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