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South African Journal of Occupational Therapy

On-line version ISSN 2310-3833
Print version ISSN 0038-2337


CASTELEIJN, Daleen  and  GRAHAM, Margot. Domains for occupational therapy outcomes in mental health practices. S. Afr. j. occup. ther. [online]. 2012, vol.42, n.1, pp.26-34. ISSN 2310-3833.

Occupational therapists in mental health care settings find it difficult to produce convincing evidence of their unique contribution to health care. This article reports on the initial phase of a larger study where the purpose was to determine domains for an outcome measure for occupational therapists in mental health care settings. A mixed methods exploratory design: Instrument Development Model was used to determine suitable domains. Occupational therapy clinicians participated in focus group discussions, workshops and the nominal group technique to discuss the status quo of outcome measurement and eventually selected domains for the ideal outcome measure for their contexts of practice. Five themes emerged from the thematic content analysis of the focus groups: Understanding the concept of outcomes, Giving examples of outcomes, Factors influencing the measurement of outcomes, Benefits from using an outcomes measure and Characteristics of an outcomes measure. The nominal group technique was employed during workshops on current trends in outcome measurement in occupational therapy. Eight domains emerged which represented the service delivery of the participating clinicians. The domains were Process skills, Motivation, Communication and interaction skills, Self-esteem, Balanced lifestyle, Affect, Life skills and Role performance.

Keywords : Outcome measurement; Occupational Therapy outcomes; Mental health; Outcome domains; Instrument development model.

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