Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists

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CJOT Abstracts
Volume 70, Number 1
February 2003


National Perspective 
Look out the window and open the door

by Mary Manojlovich

Key words Marketing of occupational therapy · Professional development · Trends, occupational therapy

Learning from today’s clinicians in vocational practice to educate tomorrow’s therapistsby Susan Strong, Sue Baptiste & Penny Salvatori

Background. In response to the demand for therapists and changes in vocational practice, a needs assessment was conducted to update an occupational therapy educational program. Method. Employing focus groups, interviews and questionnaires, 66 therapists from a wide range of graduating institutions working in vocational practice were asked to: a) identify the essential knowledge, skills and professional behaviours required for vocational practice; b) determine to what extent training is preparing students for vocational practice; and c) make recommendations for curriculum revision and/or for additional curriculum development. Participants and their jobs were profiled together with the challenges and issues of vocational practice. Results. There was strong agreement among participants regarding what is required to practice effectively but disparate views concerning the extent they were prepared for practice. Clinical Implications. Recommendations were given for entry and postgraduate level curricula. Findings were compared to a past community practice survey. Implications for practicums, professional integrity and ethical issues were discussed.

Key words Education, occupational therapy · Rehabilitation, vocational · Ergonomics

Évaluation d'un programme de valorisation de fauteuils roulants
by Claude Vincent, François Routhier & Chantal Guérette

Background. In 1998, 11.8 % of the Quebec population over 15 years showed mobility problems and 2.3% of that group revealed that their needs were not met. The same year, the Régie de l’assurance-maladie du Québec distributed more than 4 500 wheelchairs and repaired some 30 000 others, at a cost of over $20 million. The recycling of wheelchairs is seen as a solution for improving this situation. This paper presents an evaluation of a wheelchair recycling program. Methods.Three groups of participants involved in the recycling of wheelchairs contributed to the gathering of information. These were: personnel (n=9), occupational therapists in the community (n=5) and users of refurbished wheelchairs (n=20). Results. A participative and qualitative research approach was conducted with the 1st group. The results outline the inefficacy of the process on the structural level (e.g. not enough resources to collect unused wheelchairs), operational level (e.g. absence of norms to recycle), strategic level (e.g. absence of policy to encourage people to give back their unused wheelchair) and systemic level (e.g. the state is not imputable). A quantitative approach with the 2nd and 3rd groups revealed high satisfaction with regard to the efficacy, appearance, safety, durability and comfort as well as the delivery and follow-up services rendered. Practice Implications. The evaluation procedure herein proposed can be customized to fit other contexts and provides policy-makers with quick access to field data to help them choose the appropriate course of action.

Key words Program evaluation · Recycling · Wheelchairs

Compliance with administration procedures of tests for children with pervasive developmental disorders: Does it exist?by Victoria Stuhec & Erika G. Gisel

Background. There are no specific tools to evaluate functional performance that accommodate the special needs of children with pervasive developmental disorders (PDD). Method. Pediatric occupational therapists in Quebec were surveyed to identify assessments that are currently being used, the modifications made, and the use of results for treatment planning and service recommendations. Results. Results from 59 therapists treating children with PDD indicated that 52 different assessments, both standardized and non-standardized, were used. Standardized tests were used infrequently and were rarely administered without modifications. Equal weight is attributed to the results from standardized and non-standardized tests and clinical observations for the purpose of treatment planning and services. Practice Implications. This study highlights the need for practice parameters that would guide the assessment process and create a consensus among therapists and practice centres.

Key words Assessment process, occupational therapy · Child development disorders · Paediatric occupational therapy

Private practice: Benefits, barriers and strategies of providing fieldwork placementsby Kym Sloggett, Nancy Kim & Debra Cameron

Background. Occupational therapists are entering private practice in ever increasing numbers.  In order to gain the skills to practice in this area, students should have the opportunity to experience private practice fieldwork placements. However, the number offered in private practice settings continues to be limited. The purpose of this exploratory qualitative study was to identify the benefits, the barriers, and the strategies associated with providing fieldwork opportunities in private practice. Methods. Data were obtained through semi-structured interviews with six occupational therapists in private practice. Results. Results indicated that participating in fieldwork education affords benefits to the profession of occupational therapy, to the clinician, and to the facility. Potential barriers included student characteristics, cost, time, travel and legalities. Involvement from the university and the private setting were considered necessary for providing and implementing strategies. Clinical Implications. The findings have implications for increasing private practice placements for future students in occupational therapy and other health care professions offering clinical placements as a component of their formal education.

Key words Fieldwork · Private practice · Students, occupational therapy

Well-being and older people: A review of the literatureby Mandy Stanley & Julianne Cheek

Background. Most countries in the world are experiencing an expansion in their population of older people. As people now expect to live longer, they also seek continuing health and well-being throughout their extended old age. Occupational therapists are involved in working towards the attainment of well-being with their older clients. However, their understandings of what well-being for older people entails seems varied, as this examination of the occupational therapy and related gerontological literature reveals. Results. Three key points emerge from the literature review: first, the definition of well-being is usually assumed, or is lacking in clarity, and a range of similar terms, such as happiness and life satisfaction, are used interchangeably; second, well-being has been measured in research using various scales, which may not capture the complexity of the concept; and third, the perspective of the older person is often missing in discussions of well-being. Clinical Implications. It is suggested that one way of moving occupational therapists' understanding of well-being forward is to conduct research into what older people themselves understand or perceive well-being to be.

Key words Well-being · Aged · Literature review

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