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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 53  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 15-22

Scope of practice boundary violation in occupational therapy: An online survey of practitioners' perceptions in India

Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, USA

Correspondence Address:
Karthik Mani
1572, Harvest Vine Ct, Friendswood, TX - 77546
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijoth.ijoth_44_20

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Background: Occupational therapy (OT) practice in India is yet to be regulated at the national level. This presents a significant challenge to the OT community in India as it would be difficult for them to defend themselves if other professionals violate the scope of practice (SOP) boundaries. Objectives: The aim is to explore the views of occupational therapists (OTs) related to the issue of SOP boundary violation in OT practice in India. Study Design: An online survey research design was chosen to conduct this study. A 10-item electronic survey (9 with response options and one open ended) was developed based on the research question. Methods: An online survey link generated through SurveyMonkey was E-mailed to 760 OTs in India, identified through convenient sampling. The survey link was also shared on four WhatsApp Messenger groups (TNAIOTA Official Group, OTist Group, Clinic OT, and IPOTPDG1) with many Indian OTs (snowball sampling). Data were collected from January 29, to February 29, 2020. Results: The number of responses received was 126. One hundred and nine (87%) respondents believed that other professionals encroach OT's SOP boundaries knowingly or unknowingly. This belief is strong among all OTs across the nation, regardless of gender and practice experience. Conclusions: Many OTs in India believe that individuals belonging to other professions step into the domain of OT knowingly or unknowingly. Enacting an OT practice legislation, establishing a regulatory body at the national level and increasing them at state levels, endorsing an official SOP document, educating stakeholders, and engaging in awareness promotion initiatives would help mitigate the issue to a great extent. Ongoing and strategic efforts by the OT community in India are warranted.

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