Exploring Primary Contact Occupational Therapy Hand Clinics: The pull of an occupational perspective
Samantha Burley, Amelia Di Tommaso, Ruth Cox & Matthew Molineux
Introduction: There have been calls for the occupational therapy profession to realign with its values around occupation. However, the profession faces challenges in practice areas that have historically been underpinned by a biomechanical approach, such as hand therapy. The aim of this scoping review was to describe what is known about an occupational perspective in the hand therapy literature.
Method: This scoping review utilised a recognised five-step approach. A search was conducted in four databases for papers published between 2005 and 2016. Numerical and thematic analyses were employed, using the Canadian Practice Process Framework as a theoretical framework.
Results: Fifty papers were included in the scoping review. Six themes were identified: the centrality of occupation; inconsistencies in terminology; where in the occupational therapy process?; informal discussion as a key occupational strategy; occupational therapists’ expectations of patients; and a bottom-up approach focusing on biomechanical strategies to implementing the plan.
Conclusion: Whilst there has been some integration of an occupational perspective into hand therapy literature, there are still challenges. Inconsistent terminology, the lack of an occupational perspective throughout the occupational therapy process and a bottom-up approach to interventions all demonstrate the continuing tensions between the biomechanical approach and an occupational perspective