Am J Occup Ther 2000 Sep-Oct;54(5):509-15
Role perceptions of occupational therapists providing support and education for caregivers of persons with dementia.Toth-Cohen S
Thomas Jefferson University, Department of Occupational Therapy, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19107, USA. Susan.Toth-Cohen@mail.tju.edu
OBJECTIVE: This pilot study explored occupational therapists' perceptions
of their roles as interventionists providing education and support for
caregivers of persons with dementia. The intervention was provided in caregivers'
homes as part of a larger funded study. METHOD: Interviews were conducted
with four occupational therapists to elicit their reflections on practice
and their views on occupational therapy services on the basis of their
experiences providing support and education for caregivers in the funded
study. RESULTS: Key themes consisted of the contrasts between the therapists'
roles in the study and their customary practices and the professional and
personal impact of their role in the study. Their recommendations for occupational
therapy services emphasized the need to (a) collaborate with patients,
families, and other health care staff members to solve problems; (b) acknowledge
others as experts; (c) include family perspectives; and (d) fully address
the needs of patients and families in their home environments. CONCLUSION:
Providing support and education for caregivers in the community can be
a major transition for therapists accustomed to practicing in more traditional
settings. Additional research is needed to explore the ways in which specific
practice contexts influence delivery of occupational therapy services.
PMID: 11006811, UI: 20462073
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