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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 125-131

Perception of psychiatrists on occupational therapy practice in mental health: A qualitative study

1 Department of Neurology, Goa Medical College, Bambolim, Goa, India
2 Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Allied Health Science Courses, Goa Medical College, Bambolim, Goa, India

Correspondence Address:
Sadichha Paresh Kamat
Goa Medical College, Bambolim - 403 202, Goa
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijoth.ijoth_46_21

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Background: In India, there is a significant predominance of mental illnesses in varied age individuals that leaves them incapacitated in various domains of functioning (self-care, occupational and interpersonal functioning, and social participation). Moreover, with the current lifestyle and working conditions, a large majority of the population also face psychological issues hindering their emotional and psychosocial well-being. All of these individuals require a comprehensive interdisciplinary intervention. The psychiatrists serve as a primary source of referral for occupational therapy (OT). It becomes essential to understand the perceptions of the psychiatrists on the role of OT practice in mental health and its relative contribution in the psychosocial rehabilitation and promotion of mental wellness to provide holistic treatment. Objective: This study aimed to explore the perceptions and understanding of OT practice in mental health among psychiatrists based in Goa, India. Study Design: A qualitative descriptive design was used for this study. Methods: A qualitative study was conducted on psychiatrists (n = 10) currently practicing in Goa, having experience of 3 or more years in psychiatric practice. The snowball sampling method was used. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to conduct in-depth interviews to explore the psychiatrists' knowledge and understanding of OT practice in mental health. Results: The psychiatrists have a general understanding of the role of OT in mental health. They stated the importance of OT interventions in vocational rehabilitation and promotion of functioning. They also reported that occupational therapists (OTs) are important stakeholders in the multidisciplinary team. However, it was found that there was limited knowledge about the scope and OT practice in mental health among the psychiatrists. They also lacked clarity over the professional roles of OT and other mental health professionals in a mental health setting. Conclusion: There is a general understanding of OT practice in mental health among psychiatrists. However, there exists a lack of clarity about the roles of OT in mental health.

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