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Research Article  |   July 2002
Therapists’ Perceptions About Making a Difference in Parent–Child Relationships in Early Intervention Occupational Therapy Services
Author Affiliations
  • Mary L. Mayer, MEd, MAOT, OTR/L, is Occupational Therapist and Special Educator, Public School System, Anchorage, Alaska
  • Barbara Prudhomme White, PhD, OTR, is Assistant Professor, School of Health and Human Services, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire 03824; bpwhite@cisunix.unh.edu
  • Judith D. Ward, PhD, OTR, is Associate Professor, School of Health and Human Services, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire
  • Elizabeth M. Barnaby, OTR/L, is 2LT Assistant Chief, Occupational Therapy, Irwin Army Community Hospital, Fort Riley, Kansas
Article Information
Early Intervention / Therapist-Parent Outcomes
Research Article   |   July 2002
Therapists’ Perceptions About Making a Difference in Parent–Child Relationships in Early Intervention Occupational Therapy Services
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2002, Vol. 56, 411-421. doi:10.5014/ajot.56.4.411
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2002, Vol. 56, 411-421. doi:10.5014/ajot.56.4.411
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to better understand occupational therapists’ experiences of making a difference in parent–child relationships.

METHOD. In this qualitative, instrumental case study, occupational therapists working in early intervention were asked to reflect on and describe occasions in which they believed that they made a real difference in parent–child relationships. The primary investigator interviewed nine experienced pediatric occupational therapists.

RESULTS. All nine therapists highly valued the parent–child relationship and focused on these relationships in therapy. Eight themes emerged that described the therapists’ practice insights and methods by which the therapists facilitated the parent–child relationship.

CONCLUSION. The occupational therapists in this study reflected insights that resonate with the literature regarding the role of the parent–child relationship in the development of children. The authors raise the question about the adequacy of instruction at the pre-service level that prepares therapists to both assess and facilitate the parent–child relationship in early intervention.