Occupational therapists' use of advocacy in brain injury rehabilitation settings

Donna King, Michael Curtin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background/aim: Occupational therapists working in brain injury rehabilitation are required to use the skill of advocacy to ensure that people with a brain injury have the right to engage in their chosen occupations. However, no studies were found exploring the use of advocacy by occupational therapists working in brain injury rehabilitation.To investigate how occupational therapists working in brain injury rehabilitation defined and implemented the skill of advocacy when working with clients.
Method: Interpretative phenomenological analysis was used to guide planning, data collection and analysis. Thirteen occupational therapists from six NSW metropolitan, regional and rural brain injury rehabilitation units participated in semi-structured interviews. All interviews were transcribed and member-checked prior to in-depth idiographic, inductive and interrogative analysis of each transcript.
Findings: Participants identified the key elements of advocacy as the representation and education of clients and significant others. They indicated that all brain injury rehabilitation workers used advocacy when working with their clients, but were unable to identify unique ways that occupational therapists used advocacy when compared with other brain injury rehabilitation staff. However, they all felt that occupational therapists were well suited to advocate for clients in brain injury rehabilitation settings.
Conclusion: Although participants had difficulty identifying unique ways in which occupational therapists used advocacy in brain injury rehabilitation settings, they all agreed that advocacy was an important skill for occupational therapists to develop and implement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)446-457
Number of pages12
JournalAustralian Occupational Therapy Journal
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014


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