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Volume 72, Number 3
Bridges to Practice
Helen Primrose LeVesconte: Occupational therapy clinician, educator, and maker of history
Judith Friedland • Hadassah Rais
Background. The Canadian history of our profession is not well known and our identity is thought to suffer as a result. Helen Primrose LeVesconte (1896-1982) is one pioneer in our development whose story has not been told. Purpose. Our purpose is to explore LeVesconte's life and work in order to expand knowledge of our roots and thereby strengthen our identity. Method. Using interpretive biography methods we draw on LeVesconte’s own writings, articles written about her, and archival documents to describe turning point moments in her life and to display meaningful patterns in her work. Results. LeVesconte's work as a clinician and her role and reputation as an educator, show her to have been a strong and visionary leader. Her views on the client’s role, the importance of the therapist-client relationship, prevention, community-based programs, and vocational rehabilitation are of particular interest. Practice Implications. Because LeVesconte educated over 1,850 students while director of the occupational therapy program at the University of Toronto, her influence has been felt throughout the country. Her perspective is compared to current practice; and questions are raised as to aspects of her legacy and philosophy that might now be reconsidered.
Occupational therapy history • Helen LeVesconte • Historical research
Perceptions of power mobility use and safety within residential facilities
William B. Mortenson • William C. Miller • Jeanette Boily • Barbara Steele • Leslie Odell • Erin M. Crawford • Guylaine Desharnais
Background. Power wheelchairs enhance quality of life by enabling occupation, improving self-esteem and facilitating social interaction. Despite these benefits, the risks associated with power mobility use raise serious concerns in residential facilities. Purpose. As there is no gold standard to assess when a client is unsafe, a two-phase study was conducted to develop client-centred guidelines for power mobility use. Method. In the first phase of the study, presented here, 18 in-depth, qualitative interviews were conducted with a variety of stakeholders, including power mobility users, other residents, staff and family members. Results. A thematic analysis of the interviews revealed four main themes: 1) the meaning of power mobility, 2) learning the rules of the road, 3) red flags: concerns about safety, and 4) solutions. Practice Implications. Given the importance of power mobility, safety measures need to address issues of mobility and safety for power mobility drivers and those around them.
Wheelchairs, powered • Residential facilities • Safety behaviour
A web-based tutorial to enhance student learning of activity analysis
Cynthia Perlman • Cynthia Weston • Erika Gisel
Background. This paper describes the impact on learning of a web-based tutorial for the application of activity analysis, with occupational therapy students, at McGill University, Montreal, Quebec. This tutorial offers unique, interactive instructional strategies allowing for self-directed higher cognitive and reflective learning, which has not been possible, to date, in current web-based technology. Scope. Through repeated practice, students collaboratively (in dyads) apply concepts of activity analysis, and receive immediate feedback by comparing their answers to a standard. Methods and Results. Comparisons of performance outcomes on summative exams before and after implementation of the tutorial are made, suggesting a decrease in variance scores indicating fewer students are falling below the class average. These results are attributed to opportunities to practice activity analysis and to receive immediate feedback. Practice Implications. Web-based instruction can impact student learning if the instructional strategies ensure coherence with all other instructional components, match the learning outcomes, facilitate self-directed and collaborative learning, and allow for practice and feedback.
Web-based instruction / Instructional design / Activity analysis
Social Profile: Assessment of validity and reliability with preschool children
Mary V. Donohue
Background. The Social Profile evaluates the social participation levels of children in activity groups and is based on the concepts of group social participation, interaction behavioural skills, and process factors. The 7 factors for each of the group levels in the Social Profile are cooperation, norms, roles, communication, activity behaviour, power and attraction. Purpose. This study evaluates the validity and reliability of the Social Profile. Method. A panel of eleven judges examined the content of the Social Profile and their recommendations were incorporated. Two occupational therapy observers measured group skills in 15 preschool groups of typically developing children. Results. Cluster analysis of the study data indicated distinctions between skill clusters of social participation levels. Factor analysis confirmed these theoretical and clinical field component factors as distinct behaviours. Clinical Implications. The Social Profile has the potential to be used with a wide range of children to assess and treat their social skill deficits. Occupational therapy students and clinicians can use the assessment for training and to expand their observational abilities for evaluating social skills.
Social behaviour • Instrument validation • Paediatric occupational therapy • Occupational therapy assessment
It’s the activity that counts: What clients value in psycho-educational groups
Jocelyn Cowls • Sandra Hale
Background. This qualitative pilot research study provides client-centred outcomes by evaluating psycho-educational groups from the clients’ perspective. Purpose. This study was designed to determine what clients value in three psycho-educational groups offered in an acute inpatient psychiatric setting. Methods. Interviews lasting 30 to 60 minutes relating to the 8 participants group experiences were recorded and transcribed verbatim. A constant comparative approach was used to analyze data allowing for both expected and emergent themes to be integrated into later interviews. Results. Identified themes were group structure, readiness to attend groups and process information, and group milieu. Participants valued voluntary attendance and supportive milieu of groups. Insertion of relevant activity into groups to promote interaction, learning and information retention was also valued. Practice Implications. Occupational therapists offering mental health groups should consider a number of factors. These include the importance of transitioning clients from activity groups to psycho-educational groups, as well as the value clients place in determining their readiness to attend a group and having a supportive milieu with limits to emotional disclosure.
Rehabilitation, psychosocial • Occupational therapy practice • Evidence-based mental health treatment
Canadian occupational therapists’ contributions to prisoners of war in World War II
Background. A small number of Canadian occupational therapists provided materials to prisoners of war who were experiencing occupational deprivation in German camps during World War II. Although the occupational therapy contribution was relatively minor relative to the overall efforts of assistance to prisoners of war, it represented dedication, commitment and further sacrifice at a time when occupational therapists faced difficult choices. Method. An historical research method approach was employed to gather information from primary sources found in the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapy archives. Secondary sources were also consulted to provide additional background information. This paper outlines the need and context for the response, method of organization, materials sent, challenges experienced, and impact that this effort had on both POWs and the occupational therapists themselves. Practice Implications. This account may inform and inspire current day occupational therapists who are considering the implications of occupational deprivation within frameworks of social and occupational justice.
Occupational therapy history • Prisoners of war • World War II • Occupational deprivation
Letters to the Editor