A quantitative approach to measure occupational therapist–client interactions: a pilot study

Aims: The purpose of this pilot study was to assess the feasibility of a quantitative approach to study occupational therapist–client interactions. Role plays were videotaped in which 10 therapists met three client-actors. A questionnaire assessed the occupational therapists' and the patient-actors' opinion of the role-play experience. A modified version of the Roter Interaction Analysis System (RIAS), OT-RIAS, was used to analyse data. Major findings: Occupational therapists considered the role play experience to be “highly realistic” (mean score 5.4 on a 1–6 Likert scale). The actors' comfort role playing clients was also high (mean=4.0; range 1–5). Inter-coder reliability for the OT-RIAS was highly significant (r=0.919; p=0.000). The modified version of this system fits well in an occupational therapy context. Principal conclusion: The quantitative approach used in this study to explore the therapist–client relationship appears to be effective. The role plays and RIAS may be useful in research exploring correlation between the OT communication style and outcome measures such as client satisfaction or comprehension, or in order to assess and offer feedback in teaching communication skills programmes.

Source: http://informahealthcare.com/doi/abs/10.3109/11038120903147956

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