The Role of the Occupational Therapist in Case Management in South Africa

Kreshnee Govender, Chantal Christopher, Thanalutchmy Lingah



Introduction: Case Management is fundamental in managed healthcare and has been identified as an established practice delivered by varied health professionals. The aim of the study was to identify the occupational therapist’s role and scope of practice in case management in South Africa.


Method: A questionnaire was developed and distributed via Surveymonkey which yielded quantitative and qualitative data.


Results: Occupational therapists are in involved in case manager functions and the extent and intensity of involvement depends on the practice area. More than half the respondents (n=43 i.e. 64%) indicated frequent involvement in case management. The majority of respondents indicated that academic preparation in case management would be beneficial at post-graduate level (64%).


Conclusions: Case management has been implemented by occupational therapists operationally in disability management and as a component of vocational rehabilitation. A high percentage are involved in advocacy for the client, collaboration with the employer in


transitioning the client back to work and the coordination of services to enable a work reintegration which are all recognised as case manager functions with an emphasis on occupational performance. Further research is suggested for formalised training in the field to strengthen the occupational therapist as case manager and for the use of a standard of practice in vocational rehabilitation

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ISSN 0038-2337 (print), ISSN 2310-3833 (online)

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