Research Article  |   October 2015
Building Capacity of Occupational Therapy Practitioners to Address the Mental Health Needs of Children and Youth: A Mixed-Methods Study of Knowledge Translation
Author Affiliations
  • Susan Bazyk, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Project Director, Every Moment Counts, and Professor, Occupational Therapy Program, School of Health Sciences, Cleveland State University, Cleveland, OH; s.bazyk@csuohio.edu
  • Louise Demirjian, MA, OTR/L, is Occupational Therapy Consultant, Every Moment Counts, Cleveland, OH
  • Teri LaGuardia, MOT, OTR/L, is Academic Fieldwork Coordinator and Instructor, Occupational Therapy Assistant Program, EHOVE/Lorain County Community College, Milan, OH, and Occupational Therapy Consultant, Every Moment Counts
  • Karen Thompson-Repas, MBA, OTR/L, is Director, OT and PT Services, Cleveland Municipal School District, Cleveland, OH, and Occupational Therapy Consultant, Every Moment Counts
  • Carol Conway, MS, OTR/L, is Occupational Therapist, Hudson City Schools, Hudson, OH, and Occupational Therapy Consultant, Every Moment Counts
  • Paula Michaud, MEd, OTR/L, is Occupational Therapist, Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities, Cleveland, OH, and Occupational Therapy Consultant, Every Moment Counts
Article Information
Mental Health / Pediatric Evaluation and Intervention
Research Article   |   October 2015
Building Capacity of Occupational Therapy Practitioners to Address the Mental Health Needs of Children and Youth: A Mixed-Methods Study of Knowledge Translation
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, October 2015, Vol. 69, 6906180060p1-6906180060p10. doi:10.5014/ajot.2015.019182
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, October 2015, Vol. 69, 6906180060p1-6906180060p10. doi:10.5014/ajot.2015.019182
Abstract

PURPOSE. We explored the meaning and outcomes of a 6-mo building capacity process designed to promote knowledge translation of a public health approach to mental health among pediatric occupational therapy practitioners participating in a Community of Practice.

METHOD. A one-group (N = 117) mixed-methods design using a pretest–posttest survey and qualitative analysis of written reflections was used to explore the meaning and outcomes of the building capacity process.

RESULTS. Statistically significant improvements (p < .02) in pretest–posttest scores of knowledge, beliefs, and actions related to a public health approach to mental health were found. Qualitative findings suggest that participation resulted in a renewed commitment to addressing children’s mental health.

CONCLUSION. The building capacity process expanded practitioner knowledge, renewed energy, and promoted confidence, resulting in change leaders empowered to articulate, advocate for, and implement practice changes reflecting occupational therapy’s role in addressing children’s mental health.