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Research Article  |   October 1990
Formulating a Role for Occupational Therapy in Child Psychiatry: A Clinical Application
Author Affiliations
  • Susan Sholle-Martin, MOT, OTR/L, is Occupational Therapy Clinical Specialist, Neuropsychiatric Special Diagnostic Unit, Beaver Medical Center, Beaver, Pennsylvania 15009. At the time of this study, she was Occupational Therapy Clinical Specialist, Activity Department, Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Hospital, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Norman E. Alessi, MD, is Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Director of the Diagnostic and Research Unit, and Director of the Childhood Mood Disorders Clinic, Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Hospital, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor, Michigan
Article Information
Mental Health / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention / Practice
Research Article   |   October 1990
Formulating a Role for Occupational Therapy in Child Psychiatry: A Clinical Application
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, October 1990, Vol. 44, 871-882. doi:10.5014/ajot.44.10.871
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, October 1990, Vol. 44, 871-882. doi:10.5014/ajot.44.10.871
Abstract

Occupational therapy is in need of role clarification within the specialty of child psychiatry. The literature reveals that occupational therapy is often undelineated or unrecognized by child psychiatry, has limited efficacy research, and may be at risk for losing its practice with children hospitalized for psychiatric disturbances. This paper outlines steps for the formulation of a specialized role for occupational therapy within this specialty. The Model of Human Occupation (Kielhofner, 1985) is suggested as a basis for conceptualizing this role. A clinical study focused on the evaluation of adaptive functioning with use of the Vineland Adaptive Behavior Scales (Sparrow, Balla, & Cicchetti, 1984, 1985) is presented as an example of a way in which occupational therapy can provide assessment data valuable to the interdisciplinary clinical team. The role of occupational therapy in both short-term and long-term hospitalization of children with psychiatric disturbances is described.