Community-based occupational therapy in Norway: Content, dilemmas, and priorities
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Background: Profound changes in municipal health services, are calling for new models for community-based occupational therapy services. Objective: The aim of the study is to explore how Norwegian occupational therapists position themselves in relation to the tasks delivered. Method: Focus group interviews were conducted with ten community-based occupational therapists. Systematic text condensation was then used in the data analysis. Results: Norwegian occupational therapists description of professional practices can be constructed into four ideal types; being ‘the all-rounder’, ‘the provider of assistive device’, ‘the fire extinguisher’, or ‘the innovator’. The ideal types can help us understand more of the content and dilemmas that community-based occupational therapists encountered in their daily practice, and the priorities they make during these encounters. Conclusions and Significance: Community-based occupational therapists positioned themselves in different ways, and some of these positions were considered to be more favourable than others. The therapists struggled between ‘traditional’ occupational therapy tasks and new ways of delivering occupational therapy services. The study reveals similarities and differences between rural and urban occupational therapy practice. The ideal types can help community-based therapists to reflect on their own practice and empower them to be more in keeping with the OT’s objectives and preferences.