The conflicted practice: Municipal occupational therapists’ experiences with assessment of Clients with cognitive impairments
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Background: The practice of Norwegian occupational therapists (OTs) in municipal practice is a little explored area and with the Coordination Reform Act from 2012, Norwegian OTs in municipal practice have received responsibilities concerning clients with cognitive impairments. The aim of this study was to explore municipal OTs experiences with assessment of clients with cognitive impairments. Method: Fourteen individual interviews with OTs who worked with clients with cognitive impairments, were conducted. An inductive thematic analysis, using text condensation and coding, was performed. Results: The results revealed three themes; power of occupation, advantages and disadvantages of assessments used and the need for competencies within municipal services. The participants emphasized using observation in the assessment process and reflected on pros and cons of the standardized assessment tools they used. They expressed a need for competence development, although it was difficult to prioritize to do so. Conclusion: This study illustrated a conflicted practice related to choices OTs make in their practices. They valued the importance of working occupation based, however, they chose to use impairment based standardized assessments. They expressed a need to engage in professional development, but due to heavy workloads, the limited power they experienced and lack of knowledge, this was difficult.