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Gaining feedback from people with learning disabilities

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Introduction: Person-centred approaches and service user involvement are integral to occupational therapy, but evidence is lacking about how occupational therapists working in the field of learning disabilities gather feedback from service users.

Method: This research aimed to explore how members of the College of Occupational Therapists Specialist Section – People with Learning Disabilities gathered feedback from their service users. Questionnaires were completed by 70 occupational therapists and 12 of them participated in semi-structured interviews.

Findings: The occupational therapists were passionate about service user feedback, but they were likely to use informal methods rather than established methods with a more robust evidence base. Despite research indicating greater potential for bias when asking people with learning disabilities for feedback, almost half the participants did not take measures to reduce this. The interviews suggest that this is due to service pressures, lack of confidence and the complexity of service users' needs.

Conclusion: Occupational therapists need to do more to gain feedback from people with learning disabilities. Further research is required to establish the most effective way of doing this.


Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4276/030802212X13496921049743

Publication date: October 1, 2012

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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