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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.44 n.2 Pretoria Aug. 2014




Marjorie Concha

Articles published in this Journal continue to be accessible on web sites such as EBSCO, OTDBASE and OT Seeker (a site run by the American Occupational Therapy Foundation). As mentioned in the Editorial Comment of the Dec 2013 edition1 SAJOT can now also be accessed through the SciELO web site2. "The Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO) SA is South Africa's premier open-access (free to access and free to publish) searchable full-text journal database in service of the South African research community. The database covers a selected collection of peer-reviewed South African scholarly journals and forms an integral part of the SciELO Brazil project. SciELO SA is managed by the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAF), funded by the South African Department of Science and Technology and endorsed by the South African Department of Higher Education and Training (DHET)"2. One of the important factors in being part of the SciELO collection is that all their Journals are becoming part of the Web of Knowledge (WOK) which means that articles published in SAJOT will receive an impact factor rating in the future. In view of this access via SciELO, arrangements have been made for OTASA members to view the current Journal on the SAJOT web site as usual but then once a new Journal number is published the previous one will become available to all who access the web site in the archives section of the site. This increased visibility of the articles published in SAJOT will enable readers worldwide to become more aware of the research done by South Africans in the field of occupational Therapy.

There are several interesting articles in this edition of SAJOT. The first of these3 examines whether there is a difference between the normative data published in the USA and that obtained on South African children when using the Sensory Integration and Praxis tests (SIPT). The SIPT is widely used by South African occupational therapists and up until now the data published in the USA have been used to obtain information on the patterns of sensory integration function and dysfunction in children seen for evaluation. The author found that there were consistencies between the SA data and that of the USA thus confirming the use of the SIPT in identifying SI dysfunction in SA children. This article follows on the previous important article on this subject4, both of which are essential reading for therapists using the SIPT.

The second article examines the experiences of mothers of drug dependent youth and their occupational performance patterns and how these have been altered as they try to deal with their altered life circumstances under trying conditions5. Four of the themes arising from the interviews with these mothers says it all i.e. 'They take everything, the peace keeper, I can't take it anymore and we also still need a life'. The article points out very strongly that, as occupational therapists, we need to be promoting the wellbeing of these mothers.

All too often therapists are so focussed on serving and helping people that they don't pay attention to their own mental health which clearly can be affected by dealing with other peoples' problems. The third article deals with a study that investigated the prevalence of burnout amongst therapists working in private rehabilitation centres in South Africa6. The authors found that the prevalence of burnout was high, indicating a need for support to be given to therapists employed in these settings. I found it of interest that, contrary to my expectations, those therapists with children experienced less emotional exhaustion than those without. Perhaps there is a lesson to learn from this. Therapists with children may have less time to dwell on problems at work when at home as looking after children becomes the focus of attention and work concerns need to be put aside. This may indicate that therapists are in need of developing a "life" outside of work to help them deal with burnout!

The next article considers the barriers to the research involvement of SA occupational therapist and the possible strategies that can be employed to overcome these barriers7. As the future of occupational therapy in this country is dependent upon the development of a data base proving the effectiveness of intervention, this article provides the information on the points of concern such

as research education and motivation that need to be redressed if the research output is to provide this information. There has been a considerable improvement in the number of research articles submitted to SAJOT for publication over the past two years. However there is still a need for the further application of quantitative research as well as randomised control trials in research if we are really to prove our worth.

The in-hand manipulation of children aged four and five years was examined in the next article and an assessment tool developed for this purpose8. This is a valuable article in so far as there are no standardised instruments for evaluating had grips in children. This article is therefore a valuable step towards the development of such an instrument. It also provide a comprehensive description of the various manipulative skills that can be expected at this age.

The last article determines the co-morbidities of hearing loss in pre-school children9. The findings indicated that children with a hearing loss should be screened by a multidisciplinary team and in particular by an occupational therapists as most of the co-morbidities were found within the field of occupational therapy and included fine and gross motor delay, visual motor integration and bilateral integration problems.

As it still takes at least one year for an article to be make it through the publication process the following are some tips that will help stream-line the process:

Make sure that:

1. The title and the date of submission of each version of the article is placed in the "footer". This is of assistance in making sure that the correct version is being assessed and published.

2. Multiple Choice Questions covering the article have been attached in the "supplementary information". It is also helpful to include a title page here as well.

3. All the qualifications of the authors have been given as well place of employment.

4. The references are given in the SAJOT format.

5. The article has been checked for its English before submission.



1. Concha ME Editorial Comment. 2013; 43 (3):1.         [ Links ]

2. Scielo SA web site        [ Links ]

3. Van Jaarsveld, A. patterns of sensory integration dysfunction in children from South Africa, The South African Journal of Occupational Therapy, 2014; 44:2 In this edition.         [ Links ]

4. Van Jaarsveld, A., Mailloux, Z. & Herzberg, D. S. The use of the Sensory Integration and Praxis tests with South African children. The South African Journal of Occupational Therapy, 2012; 42(3): 13-18.         [ Links ]

5. Wegner L, Arend T, Bassadien R, Bismath Z, Cross L. Experiences of mothering drug-dependent youth: influences on occupational performance patterns. The South African Journal of Occupational Therapy, 20l4; 44:2. In this edition.         [ Links ]

6. Du Plessis T, Visagie S, Mji G. The prevalence of burnout amongst therapists working in private physical rehabilitation centres in South Africa: a descriptive study. The South African Journal of Occupational Therapy, 2014; 44:2. In this edition.         [ Links ]

7. Pitout H. Barriers and strategies to increase research involvement of South African occupational therapists. The South African Journal of Occupational Therapy, 2014; 44:2. In this edition.         [ Links ]

8. Visser M, Nel M, de Vries J, Klopper E, Olën K, van Coller J. In-hand manipulation of children aged four and five years old: translation, rotation, and shift movements in Bloemfontein. The South African Journal of Occupational Therapy, 2014; 44:2. In this edition.         [ Links ]

9. Sewpersad V. Co-morbidities of Hearing Loss and Occupational Therapy in Preschool Children. The South African Journal of Occupational Therapy, 2014; 44:2. In this edition.         [ Links ]

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