Poster Session
Issue Date: August 2016
Published Online: August 01, 2016
Updated: January 01, 2021
Therapeutic Relationship and Treatment Outcome
Author Affiliations
  • National Taiwan University
Article Information
Ethics / Mental Health / Health Services Research and Education
Poster Session   |   August 01, 2016
Therapeutic Relationship and Treatment Outcome
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 2016, Vol. 70, 7011510234.
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, August 2016, Vol. 70, 7011510234.

Date Presented 4/9/2016

Our study results showed that task- and goal-related items were less endorsed than bond items. It also demonstrated that there is a significant moderate correlation between therapeutic relationship and participation, thus confirming the significance of therapeutic relationship for treatment outcome.

Primary Author and Speaker: Ay-Woan Pan

Contributing Author: Li-Ting Liu

  1. What are the easier and harder therapeutic characteristics perceived by the clients?

  2. Is there a significant relationship between clients’ perceived therapeutic relationship and level of participation?

BACKGROUND: There is a long history in occupational therapy that therapeutic use of self is one of the most important therapeutic strategies in clinical practice (Punwar & Peloquin, 2000). A well-established therapeutic relationship can facilitate the recovery process of clients. On the contrary, negative emotional response during a therapeutic relationship would cause misunderstanding between the therapist and the client and induce complaint from the client (Leach, 2005).
Research showed that by establishing good therapeutic relationship, the client can have a better treatment outcome (Gunnarsson & Eklund, 2009). The purpose of the study is to examine perceived therapeutic relationship and the relationship of therapeutic relationship and participation.
METHOD: The study was approved by the ethical committee of the university-affiliated hospital. Two hundred one clients were recruited to participate in the study. They were recruited from psychiatric institute or community mental health settings throughout the country. The mean age is 46.4 yr (SD = 9.65).
Of the clients, 73% were single, and 73% were diagnosed with schizophrenia. Once they consented to participate in the study, they were instructed to fill out a questionnaire of therapeutic relationship (developed by the authors, 36 items, 5-point rating scale) and participation scale (Pittsburgh Rehabilitation Participation Scale). The data were analyzed on the basis of a Rasch measurement model using Winsteps. The Pearson correlation coefficient was applied to examine the relationship between these variables.
RESULTS: The results showed that “good communication skills,” “care about me,” “accept who I am,” and “good first impression” were easier items to endorse. “Having mutual communication,” “ask for goal-related question easily,” “participating activity and feel desired effect,” and “discuss with therapist of the goals openly” were harder-to-endorse items. Furthermore, there is a significant moderate correlation between the therapeutic relationship and participation (rp = .43, p = .000).
DISCUSSION: The results showed that items related to goal and task were harder to endorse than those items related to bond. This reflected the educational preference about therapeutic relationship that we tend to focus on teaching therapeutic qualities of the therapists. The results also support the importance of the therapeutic relationship in the facilitation of the participation of the clients. In the future, occupational therapy educators need to raise the importance of goal and task related to therapeutic relationship. Furthermore, there is a need to investigate how therapeutic relationship generate the effect on the treatment outcome.
Gunnarsson, A. B., & Eklund, M. (2009). The tree theme method as an intervention in psychosocial occupational therapy: Client acceptability and outcomes. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 56, 167–176.
Leach, M. J. (2005). Rapport: A key to treatment success. Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice, 11, 262–265.
Punwar, J., & Peloquin, M. (2000). Occupational therapy: Principles and practice (pp. 42–98). Philadelphia: Lippincott.