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Durham e-Theses
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The role of a remedial profession in social services departments the case of occupational therapy

Bristow, Anna Katharine (1990) The role of a remedial profession in social services departments the case of occupational therapy. Masters thesis, Durham University.



This study of 90 fieldwork occupational therapists representing ten local authority social services departments randomly selected throughout England was undertaken in 1981. It presents a detailed picture of the work that they carried out and of the influences upon that work. The departments were chosen to illustrate the varying ways in which occupational therapists were managed and deployed within social services departments so that these could be related to the work undertaken and to the respondents" subjective experience of their work. The subject has a wide frame of reference. Issues such as autonomy and the management of a discreet professional group within a large bureaucratic organisation are pertinent as is the whole subject of professionalism, and professionalisation. Status, identity strain and role clarity are themes which recur and which also relate to the process of accommodating a minority specialist group within a large organisation, equally role strain is seen to result from the necessity of having to ration limited resources and from compromising professional judgements with political pressures. The findings show that the occupational therapists in this study were involved in a wide range of activities using diverse skills and liaising with an extensive range of personnel. There was considerable variation between the areas studied although, in most cases, a large amount of the respondents" time was spent on aspects of work that did not require their exclusive skills. Where assistants were employed the occupational therapists concentrated on the more complex cases and did not have to deal with such high numbers of referrals. The findings provide guidance on the most effective deployment of occupational therapists within social services departments and implications for the conceptual model of occupational therapy within social services that training establishments and the British Association of Occupational Therapists should, perhaps, be promulgating.

Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Award:Master of Arts
Thesis Date:1990
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Feb 2013 13:42

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