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South African Journal of Occupational Therapy

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


JANSE VAN RENSBURG, Elize; VAN DER MERWE, Tania Rauch  and  ERASMUS, Mabel A. Community outcomes of occupational therapy service learning engagements: perceptions of community representatives. S. Afr. j. occup. ther. [online]. 2019, vol.49, n.1, pp.12-18. ISSN 2310-3833.

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

Keywords : Service learning; occupational enablement; community engagement; community-based practice; community-based education.

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