Clients’ Perceptions of an Occupational Therapy Intervention at a Substance Use Rehabilitation Centre in the Western Cape

Teneil Bell, Lisa Wegner, Lauren Blake, Leigh Jupp, Fides Nyabenda, Tamryn Turner

Abstract


Substance use among adolescents is a significant health and social problem and affects occupational performance. While occupational therapy interventions are available at substance use rehabilitation centres in the Western Cape, little is known about clients’ perceptions of the usefulness of these interventions. A qualitative study was conducted to address this gap, specifically exploring clients’ perceptions of the usefulness of the intervention on their occupations post discharge. The occupational therapist at a particular centre was interviewed as a key informant. Eight participants who attended the aftercare programme at the centre took part in three focus groups. Four themes emerged from the analysis of data:  “We taking the drugs away, but we need to give them something back in that place”; “I don’t want to be that person I was in the past”; “Keeping me clean”; “Take us out into the life”. Participants perceived skills development, work training, life skills and leisure exploration to be useful. However, team members’ roles and treatment objectives should be clarified to the clients to ensure that clients understand why they are participating in therapy. Finally, there should be more community-based, out-patient support programmes for adolescents so that the appropriate services are more easily accessible.


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

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