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Research Article  |   January 1997
The Model of Functional Deficits Associated With Hallucinations
Author Affiliations
  • Anne MacRae, PhD, OTR, is Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Applied Sciences and Arts, San Jose State University, One Washington Square, San Jose, California 95192-0059
Article Information
Education of OTs and OTAs / Mental Health / Practice
Research Article   |   January 1997
The Model of Functional Deficits Associated With Hallucinations
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January 1997, Vol. 51, 57-63. doi:10.5014/ajot.51.1.57
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January 1997, Vol. 51, 57-63. doi:10.5014/ajot.51.1.57
Abstract

Objectives. The Model of Functional Deficits associated with hallucinations is used as part of the clinical documentation in the San Jose State University Psychosocial Occupational Therapy Clinic. On the basis of this model, hallucinations are classified according to functional deficits and whether the deficits are a result of the content or intrusiveness of the hallucinations. This classification is important because it helps occupational therapists know the full extent of the dysfunction through understanding the underlying pathology. The purpose of this classification is to assist in the development of clinical treatment plans that incorporate techniques for coping with hallucinations.

Method. The sample included 39 clients seen in the clinic over a 4-year period. Student occupational therapists were responsible for documenting the classifications using the Model of Functional Deficits associated with hallucinations. The clients’ charts were then reviewed retrospectively to classify the hallucinations according to the clients’ functional deficits. The classification system ranged from Class 0, insufficient information, to Class VI, persistent hallucinations with profound functional deficits. With these classifications, interventions were planned with the clients in order for them to practice coping mechanisms (e.g., self instruction, decreased stimulation, increased stimulation) to maintain function during their hallucinations.

Results. The findings indicated that 54% of the clients continued to experience hallucinations (i.e., Class II–Class V), although all received psychotropic medication, thus necessitating continuing therapeutic intervention.

Conclusion. This model helps identify specific client experiences that can then be used to develop occupational therapy interventions.