Amy Linn Collins; Multiskilling: A Survey of Occupational Therapy Practitioners’ Attitudes. Am J Occup Ther 1997;51(9):748-753. doi: 10.5014/ajot.51.9.748.
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Objective. Multiskilling has been identified as one means of reducing the cost of health care. This study examined occupational therapy practitioners’ knowledge of multiskilling, how it is affecting service delivery and quality of care, and how therapists believe the addition of skills should occur.
Method. A questionnaire was constructed for the survey and mailed to a random sample of 200 occupational therapists and occupational therapy assistants, all of whom were members of the American Occupational Therapy Association.
Results. The 117 respondents had a moderate understanding of multiskilling. They responded that multiskilling is beneficial to both the occupational therapy profession and the clients it serves, but they were also aware of its potential risks or disadvantages. According to respondents, multiskilling occurs formally through defined protocol and, more commonly, informally, driven by necessity and the desire to treat the client most effectively.
Conclusion. The results indicate a need for the occupational therapy profession to define multiskilling and cross training; develop ways of serving clients that respond to administrative needs and constraints while preserving the uniqueness of occupational therapy; and monitor treatment outcomes of all service delivery methods to provide information regarding efficiency, effectiveness, and client satisfaction.
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