An exploration of client-centred practice in occupational therapy: perspectives and impact

Parker, Davina Margaret (2013). An exploration of client-centred practice in occupational therapy: perspectives and impact. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Client-centred practice underpins Occupational Therapy and is defined as a partnership between the client and therapist that empowers a client to fulfil his/her occupational roles in a variety of environments. Given the importance of this approach, there has been limited exploration of what therapists and clients experience of this approach.

A mixed method design examining the view of the clients and therapists was undertaken using; a systematic review to examine worldwide evidence of a clientcentred outcomes measure, a survey of a sample of therapists’ experiences and individual client and therapist interviews.

Findings from this programme of work revealed that the clients’ perspective of client-centred practice was the value they placed on the attitude and behaviour of the therapist, communicating respect and treating them as equals. Therapists valued partnership but were challenged in establishing a relationship with the client and failed to negotiate goals with them. Using a client-centred outcomes measure (the COPM) reinforced partnership, demonstrated joint goal setting and evaluated client satisfaction.

Implications for practice; training needed in client-centred practice, theoretical models, interviewing, risk assessment, goal negotiation and use of outcome measures. Communication, use of language and documentation should be clientcentred and reflect the client’s needs.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Medical & Dental Sciences
School or Department: School of Health and Population Sciences
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine


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