Scielo RSS <![CDATA[South African Journal of Occupational Therapy]]> vol. 49 num. 1 lang. pt <![CDATA[SciELO Logo]]> <![CDATA[<b>Editorial Comment</b>]]> <![CDATA[<b>Screening fitness to drive by occupational therapists in Gauteng Public Healthcare - an Action Learning Action Research outcome</b>]]> INTRODUCTION: In South Africa, public healthcare users equate the ability to drive a motor vehicle to employability and access to essential services. When injury or illness threatens the ability to drive, the multi-professional medical team usually refer the problem to the occupational therapist who will make decisions about patients' fitness to drive a motor vehicle. METHOD: Over the course of five years, a collaborative task team applied multiple Action Learning Action Research (ALAR) cycles to address the problem. Qualitative data collected included field notes, reflective journaling, meeting minutes and a survey. RESULTS: ALAR cycles resulted in a user manual and tool to screen driver fitness for occupational therapists. A follow-up survey indicated that despite a low user ratio, clinicians were of the opinion that the screening tool was user-friendly and contextually relevant to their practices CONCLUSION: ALAR was effective in addressing a practice problem and empowering clinicians to develop a structured approach to screen fitness to drive in patients accessing public healthcare. Screening, as a first step within the field of driving rehabilitation, is now available in Gauteng public healthcare. <![CDATA[<b>Community outcomes of occupational therapy service learning engagements: perceptions of community representatives</b>]]> BACKGROUND: Service learning is used as an educational approach in many undergraduate occupational therapy programmes in South Africa and the rest of the world. Evidence for the impact of occupational therapy service learning engagements in communities, from the perspectives of community partners, is limited AIM: The purpose of this study was to describe the perceptions of community representatives regarding the outcomes of occupational therapy service learning engagements METHODS: A descriptive qualitative enquiry design was used. In-depth interviews were conducted with eight purposively sampled community representatives and analysed using inductive qualitative content analysis RESULTS: This paper reports on the theme related to community outcomes of occupational therapy that emerged from the data, consisting of seven categories, namely: (1) increased knowledge and skills, (2) attitudinal change leading to practice reform, (3) increased access to resources and infrastructure, (4) enhanced community connections, (5) enhanced confidence and dignity, (6) enhanced occupational participation, and (7) non-realisation of partnership goals CONCLUSION: The findings of the study demonstrated that although there were some instances in which partnership goals were not realised, occupational therapy service learning engagements contributed to occupational enablement, occupational justice, health and well-being for community members <![CDATA[<b>Applying the occupational justice framework in disability policy analysis in Namibia</b>]]> INTRODUCTION: The purpose of the study was to compare the existing disability policy in Namibia with those of other southern African countries to determine whether the former would require revisions. There were two objectives: to apply the occupational justice framework to analyse the National Policy on Disability of Namibia, to conduct an comparative analysis of the National Policy on Disability of Namibia and selected disability policies and policy environments in Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe taking into consideration the United Nations' Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) METHODS: A qualitative analytical approach was used to conduct a document review of the Namibia disability policy and to provide a comparative analysis of the Namibia disability policy with those of selected southern African countries using the disability policy analysis lens. Critical disability theory provided the overarching theoretical framework. Discourse analysis was applied to identify themes. FINDINGS: Embedded occupational marginalisation and deprivation were evident in the Namibian disability policy. A new type of occupational injustice emerged that can best be described as Occupational inconsideration among disability policy makers, whereby occupational rights for persons with disabilities are of secondary focus when disability policies are formulated. CONCLUSION: Namibia's disability policy was considered inadequate in terms of addressing occupational rights according to the occupational justice framework. Similarly, Namibia and other southern African countries have not significantly progressed with domesticating the UNCRPD. The findings have implications for disability policy formulation and occupational justice practice in Namibia in particular and in southern Africa in general. <![CDATA[<b>Tobacco use and concurrent engagement in other risk behaviours: A public health challenge for occupational therapists</b>]]> INTRODUCTION: Occupational therapists are concerned about what people do and how that impacts their health and well-being. However, occupational therapy contributions to the cessation and prevention of tobacco use remain limited. Tobacco use constitutes occupational performance that poses a serious threat to health, well-being and quality of life. The purpose of this paper is to report the extent of tobacco use and discuss the nature of risk behaviours among high school learners in the city of Maseru, Lesotho METHOD: The paper draws on findings of a larger study that aimed to establish the prevalence of risk behaviours among high school learners in Lesotho. 1121 learners aged 12-27 years completed the Lesotho Youth Risk Behaviour Survey (LYRBS) in a school-based cross-sectional survey. STATA and Microsoft Excel we used for data analysis RESULTS: The findings highlight the co-occurring and concurrent nature of risk behaviours, such as use of other substances, gambling and sexual behaviours with tobacco use dominating clusters of concurrent engagement CONCLUSION: Tobacco use is an occupation and a public health emergency that requires urgent attention from an early age. Delaying early initiation of tobacco use could prevent engagement in other risk behaviours thereby avoiding associated health consequences. With their understanding of occupation, occupational therapists can contribute immensely to interventions aimed at curbing engagement in risk behaviours <![CDATA[<b>Experiences and perceptions of Return to Work (RTW) by clients with major depressive disorder in an extended sick leave period</b>]]> INTRODUCTION: Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) may cause difficulties that can influence employment. Although clients with MDD are typically expected to return to work (RTW) early, most are given the maximum duration of sick leave subsidised by their medical aid scheme, to recover. This study explored the lived perceptions and experiences of clients with MDD whilst on extended sick leave. METHODS: The study used a descriptive phenomenological qualitative study design. Data were collected through informant interviews. An inductive content analysis was used to analyse the data. FINDINGS: Eight participants were included in the study, of which 75% (n=6) were females and 25% (n=2) were males. One theme emerged from the data, namely 'waiting to RTW with three categories (1) 'ruminating about RTW, (2) 'fears about RTW and (3) 'social pressures to RTW CONCLUSION: The period of waiting to RTW after hospitalisation was found to be stressful due to perceived work issues and rumination about work politics that were perceived to contribute to the illness. However, social pressures also play a vital role as a facilitator to RTW. These findings have implications for vocational preparation by occupational therapists during this extended sick leave period. <![CDATA[<b>Parents' voices: experiences and coping as a parent of a child with autism spectrum disorder</b>]]> INTRODUCTION: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) requires a lifetime commitment of care and imposes significant stressors on families. This study aimed to understand the lived experiences and coping strategies of parents with children diagnosed with ASD. The study addressed one of the objectives of a larger project METHODS: An exploratory, qualitative study using purposive sampling to recruit parents of Children with ASD was used. Six individual interviews and one dyad interview provided the data for this study. Data were interpreted using thematic analysis FINDINGS: The study identified two major themes namely experiences of ASD and coping with ASD. Dealing with ASD was characterised by significant challenges associated with resource limitations, poor guidance from health professionals, protracted diagnostic processes, reduced awareness of ASD and stigma for families. Parents were resilient and empowered themselves to cope with the tough journey, with support systems providing a buffer to families. Parents identified support, resources and awareness as pivotal needs. Positive ramifications from parenting a child with ASD were the development of positive personality traits, increased spiritual faith and a greater appreciation of life. The study emphasised the need for increased resources and support for families to cushion their experiences of ASD <![CDATA[<b>Roles, rituals and emotional regulation of rugby players at different competitive levels</b>]]> Globally, people engage in the game of rugby as spectators, players and organisations on many different competitive levels for the purpose of leisure, work and play. It is performed on both amateur and professional levels and engaged in by male and female players ranging from pre-school to adults. The purpose of the study was to describe and compare the roles, rituals and emotional regulation, on and off the field, of male rugby players on three different competitive levels in the Free State, South Africa. A cross-sectional study design was used amongst rugby players (n=45); 1 team per competitive level (3 levels). The results of the study showed significant differences with regards to roles that rugby players on the different competitive levels assume and the importance which they ascribe to each role. Variations exist in the rituals that the rugby players on the different competitive levels perform before and during a game of rugby. The degree to which situations are experienced as stressful differs across the three competitive levels. Across these levels, the use of positive verbal and non-verbal expression is used more than negative expression. Across all three levels rugby players use emotional suppression more than situational reappraisal as an emotional regulation strategy. Additional factors and the comparison thereof on different competitive levels should be investigated in future studies.