Occupational Therapy Consultation for Case Managers in Community Mental Health: Exploring Strategies to Improve Job Satisfaction and Self-Efficacy

The purpose of this study was 2-fold: (1) to examine to what extent case managers' job satisfaction and self-efficacy were impacted by the addition of an occupational therapy consultation model and (2) to identify factors that both positively and negatively impacted the occupational therapy consultation services. Primary Practice Setting: The study was conducted at a mental health community support program in a local homeless center. Methodology and Sample: In a 2-year study, a mixed-methods design was used to study changes over time in job satisfaction and perceived self-efficacy among 14 case managers who received ongoing occupational therapy consultation. Job satisfaction and self-efficacy data were obtained using standardized questionnaires. Qualitative data related to factors impacting the consultation program were obtained using open-ended written questions, focus groups, and individual interviews. Results: Statistically significant differences in job satisfaction and perceptions of self-efficacy were found 18 months into the study, when case managers were more actively seeking occupational therapy consultation services and were reporting improved client outcomes from occupational therapy intervention. In addition, themes related to both positive and negative factors impacting the occupational therapy consultation program were identified and provided useful data for development of future consultation services. Implication for Case Management Practice: Results suggest that ongoing training and professional support for case managers who are paraprofessionals and/or new to mental health practice may improve job satisfaction and efficacy. Occupational therapy consultation may be helpful in developing services for health promotion, including self-care management, cognitive assessments, activity-based programming, and home safety evaluation and modification. In addition, new graduates and paraprofessional case managers working with clients who are high utilizers of services may benefit from smaller caseloads and support from clinical professionals.

Source: http://journals.lww.com/professionalcasemanagementjournal/Abstract/2011/03000/Occupational_Therapy_Consultation_for_Case.9.aspx

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