An Action Research Approach to Profile an Occupational Therapy Vocational Rehabilitation Service in Public Healthcare.

Hester Maria van Biljon, Daleen Casteleijn, Sanetta H.J. du Toit, Simon Rabothata


The need for occupational therapists to profile their vocational rehabilitation services, initiated an action research project, within a PhD study. The PhD study was aimed at transforming vocational rehabilitation services in occupational therapy departments in Gauteng public healthcare through action research. The aim of the project was to develop a tool that would allow occupational therapists doing vocational rehabilitation, to systematically and comprehensively profile their services. The profile tool could be used for practice reflection, research, to assist with planning, policy making and/or quality management. It will be used in the final phase of the PhD study to allow for critical reflection on vocational rehabilitation practice transformation in Gauteng public healthcare.

The profile tool was designed and developed during action research cycles in public healthcare vocational rehabilitation units. It was refined through further action research cycles with occupational therapists that offer vocational rehabilitation services in Gauteng’s public healthcare. The service profiles generated from these cycles were presented for participant validation. The final profile tool was sent for critical appraisal to a panel of experts acting as ‘critical friends’.

The processes of designing, developing, refining, validating and disseminating the tool are presented in this article as a contribution to the practice of vocational rehabilitation and to conclude the dissemination outcome of action research.

Keywords: occupational therapy, vocational rehabilitation services, public healthcare action research, profile tool.

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

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