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South African Journal of Occupational Therapy

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

S. Afr. j. occup. ther. vol.41 n.3 Pretoria  2011




A survey to investigate how South African Occupational Therapists in private practice are assessing and treating poor handwriting in foundation phase learners: Part II - Treatment and evaluation practices



Joanne van der MerweI; Neeltje SmitII; Betsie VlokIII

IBScOT, M OT. Private Practitioner
IIB OT, B Hons OT, MBA. Senior Lecturer, Division of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Stellenbosch
IIIM OT. Lecturer, Division of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Stellenbosch





Handwriting is a functional skill of paramount importance for school-going children. Difficulties with this skill can result in poor academic performance and emotional distress which can potentially lead to school drop-out. These negative effects can be prevented by early remediation of handwriting difficulties.
This is the second part of a two-part paper describing a telephonic survey of 162 South African occupational therapists working with Foundation Phase learners to remediate handwriting difficulties. Part 1 describes demographic data and assessment practices. Part 2 provides a description of the treatment and progress evaluation practices of the respondents.
Seventy two percent of the respondents treated learners individually and 67% utilised home programmes with every referral. The majority of therapists applied an eclectic treatment approach, with sensory integration and psychosocial principles/techniques being most frequently used (<95%). The most popular means of evaluating progress were work sample comparisons (97%), review of treatment notes (94%), teacher interview/questionnaire (74%) and discussion with the learner (73%). The limited use of home programs may indicate an avenue for future research.

Key words: Evaluation, Foundation Phase, Handwriting, Treatment, Occupational Therapy



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Joanne van der Merwe



This study was completed in partial fulfillment for the M OT at the University of Stellenbosch.

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