Ruth Humphry, Sharon González, Eve Taylor; Family Involvement in Practice: Issues and Attitudes. Am J Occup Ther 1993;47(7):587-593. doi: 10.5014/ajot.47.7.587.
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The family occupies an important role in the lives of persons with a physical, developmental, or mental disability; however, the extent and manner in which occupational therapists work with families is not known. A questionnaire concerning family–therapist involvement was sent to occupational therapists. Responses of 340 occupational therapists with a primary practice area of physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, or mental health were compared. Results indicated that the amount of contact with families of clients, reasons for family–therapist interactions, and attitudes about the family’s abilities and involvement were affected by the respondent’s area of practice. Respondents in all three practice areas identified scheduling difficulties as the biggest issue affecting their involvement with families of their clients. Implications discussed include the need to obtain an understanding of families’ desired level of involvement and the importance of continuing education opportunities for occupational therapists in changing attitudes about working with families. This study also suggests that the role of occupational therapists with families in mental health settings needs to be better articulated and shared with professional peers.
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