Scope of practice of occupational therapists working in Victorian community health settings

Quick, Lynne, Harman, Suzanne, Morgan, Sue and Stagnitti, Karen 2010, Scope of practice of occupational therapists working in Victorian community health settings, Australian occupational therapy journal, vol. 57, no. 2, pp. 95-101, doi: 10.1111/j.1440-1630.2009.00827.x.

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Title Scope of practice of occupational therapists working in Victorian community health settings
Author(s) Quick, Lynne
Harman, Suzanne
Morgan, Sue
Stagnitti, KarenORCID iD for Stagnitti, Karen
Journal name Australian occupational therapy journal
Volume number 57
Issue number 2
Start page 95
End page 101
Total pages 7
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Place of publication Richmond, Vic.
Publication date 2010-04
ISSN 0045-0766
Keyword(s) health promotion
primary health
Summary Background/aim: Current health policy places emphasis on community-based health care and it is expected that there will be an increase in the number of people receiving care in community settings. This study aimed to examine the profile and scope of practice of occupational therapists working in Victorian community health settings and the amount and type of health promotion activity incorporated into their role.
Method:  An anonymous postal questionnaire was sent to 205 community-based Victorian occupational therapists. One hundred and one (49.3% response rate) questionnaires were returned, with 72 respondents (35.1%) meeting study inclusion criteria. A descriptive research design was used to address study aims.
Results:  Results indicate that the majority of community health occupational therapists are experienced practitioners, have a varied scope of practice and report a high level of job satisfaction. Compared with previous studies, there is an increase in new graduate occupational therapists starting their career in community health settings, a greater number of part-time workers and a diversification of clinical and non-clinical roles. Barriers to practice that exist include high demand for service, limited funding and time spent on administrative tasks. Although health promotion was regarded as an important role of community health workers, a large number of therapists were not involved in this activity because of limited knowledge and clinical work taking priority.
Conclusion: Study findings have implications for occupational therapy training, and there is a clear need for input at policy level to address the significant resource allocation issues raised.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/j.1440-1630.2009.00827.x
Field of Research 111708 Health and Community Services
Socio Economic Objective 920201 Allied Health Therapies (excl. Mental Health Services)
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2009, The Authors
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Health and Social Development
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