Community based occupational therapy practice addressing healthy ageing; Men’s sheds, teleconferencing and health education as examples of population level interventions.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractpeer-review


OTs are being challenged to meet "society's occupational needs" as they emerge in a changing social, economic, and political context. To meet this challenge, there have been numerous calls for a shift in OT practice in primary health including from individuals to populations, from treatment to prevention and from prescriptive approaches to process and development (WFOT 2002).
Occupational deprivation experienced by community living aged, has been linked to reduced health and wellbeing and increased burden of disease and health costs in this population. Three innovative community based projects, are examples of how OTs can begin to address occupational deprivation at a social ecological level.
• Developing community buy in to establish a committee run ‘men’s shed.’
• Trailing teleconferencing as a media to engage socially isolated elderly in socialising and physical activity
• Consumer participation to developing an educational calendar to prevent falls in home bound elderly

Methods were consistent with an action research paradigm, community readiness principles, and program logic approaches. A process and outcomes evaluation was conducted on each project using a range of qualitative and quantitative methods to evaluate program efficacy and process effectiveness.

Outcomes evaluations demonstrated that changes achieved across the projects included participant buy in, consumer knowledge and increased social engagement. Program efficiency concerning stakeholder engagement, time use and program reach varied amongst the projects, with recommendations for improvement identified. Recommendations also concerned sustainability, program improvement and ongoing evaluation of program outcomes

Population level preventative intervention for occupational therapy practice will require new conceptual practice models and tools of application which according to Keilhofner (2004), will emerge from practice. These three projects together demonstrate how the profession can begin to address this population issue through collaborative, grounded, process driven, intervention approaches each targeting short term changes contributing ultimately to broader population level goals.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010
EventAsia Pacific Occupational Therapy Congress 2011 - Chiang Mai Convention Centre, Chiang Mai, Thailand
Duration: 19 Nov 201124 Nov 2011
Conference number: 5th


ConferenceAsia Pacific Occupational Therapy Congress 2011
CityChiang Mai

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