Perspectives on occupational therapy leadership functions in clinical practice
Thesis (MOccTher (Interdisciplinary Health Sciences. Occupational Therapy))--University of Stellenbosch, 2007.
Objectives: The study aimed to identify the functions that occupational therapy leaders perform in clinical settings in the Metropole District of the Provincial Administration of the Western Cape (PAWC) and determine the influence of these functions on clinical practice. Methodology: The researcher used a descriptive design and a non-standardised questionnaire which was compiled to collect the data for the study. The questionnaire was piloted with a group of occupational therapy leaders from the Boland Overberg Region. Feedback was used to refine the final study questionnaire. Thirty-five study questionnaires were mailed or handed to the participants in the study and the researcher received 25 completed questionnaires; therefore, the response rate was 71.4%. The data were analysed using the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS 10.0) for all the questions. Descriptive statistics were used to report the data. Inter-observer reliability was checked by using the split-half method. The results revealed that the study questionnaire was reliable as Cronbach's Alfa was calculated at 0.90, correlation coefficient Pearson’s r was calculated at 0.51, and Spearman-Brown was calculated at 0.67. Results: The results were presented in relation to the respondents’ number (N = 25). The participants identified 57 leadership functions, grouped as managerial, ethics-related, education, research, and consultation functions. The participants reported to have high performance in both direct and indirect occupational therapy services. Performance in the direct occupational therapy services functions was higher than the performance in the indirect occupational therapy services. Minimal performance in occupational therapy leadership functions was reported for consultation, ethics related, and research functions which need to be addressed by in-service training. The indirect occupational therapy services enabled the participants in the study to perform on a more optimum level regarding the direct occupational therapy services. The occupational therapy leaders had many empowering factors in their work place such as subordinates, supervisors, and top management. Conclusion: The 57 leadership functions identified in the study culminated in an occupational therapy leadership functions framework (OTLFF) which represents the managerial activities of the occupational therapy leaders in the PAWC. These study findings are useful guidelines for occupational therapy professionals and students as guidelines for leadership training, participant facilities to compile job descriptions, and educational facilities to set educational curricula. Recommendations: The study had many shortcomings; therefore, generalisation of results can't be done. The researcher recommends replication of the study using a larger and more representative sample.