Perceptions of occupational therapists in the United Kingdom on the applicability of the reflective framework for community development in occupational therapy

Anna Melville, Sandra Schiller, Anne Mie Engelen, Debbie Kramer-Roy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: Community development approaches are increasingly used by occupational therapists in response to occupational justice theory, which posits that both individuals and community groups may be denied access to meaningful occupations through societal powers outside their control. Previous research has found that occupational therapists feel insufficiently prepared for a role in community development and tend to use their general skill set, sometimes in combination with generic community development approaches. This study explored whether the reflective framework for community development in occupational therapy is applicable and useful for occupational therapists in the United Kingdom. Methods: A mixed methods approach was used, combining an online questionnaire and focus groups with occupational therapists who already work in community development. Findings were compared with the framework. Findings: The participants recognised most aspects of the Framework in their own practice, but some key aspects such as collaboration with the community at every stage were less prominent. They found the framework applicable to the UK context, particularly for occupational therapists inexperienced in community development practice. Conclusion: This study has highlighted community development practice by occupational therapists in the United Kingdom and concluded that the framework would support them in fulfilling this role more effectively.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)158-168
Number of pages11
JournalBritish Journal of Occupational Therapy
Volume86
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

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