Assessing and Building Clinical Competence in Occupational Therapists Treating Patients with Neurodegenerative Disease: A Community of Practice Study

Scott G. Rushanan, Dawn M. Nilsen, Lenin Grajo, Kevin Caroll

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Communities of practice (CoPs) can be an effective means by which to efficiently build skills, knowledge, and competence for occupational therapists. The objective of this study was to assess changes in clinical competence for occupational therapists treating patients with neurodegenerative diseases (NDD) after participating in a CoP. A cohort of home health occupational therapists was recruited to participate in a seven-week CoP focused on treating patients with NDD. A single group pretest posttest mixed methods design was used to measure changes in clinical competence of the participants through a validated self-report assessment tool and a qualitative analysis of treatment summaries. Thirteen occupational therapists participated in the study. There were significant changes in pretest and post-test knowledge, beliefs, and action scores, indicating a positive change in the participants’ competence to treat patients with NDD. Qualitative findings support positive changes in clinical competence through increased knowledge, confidence, and use of interventions aimed at optimizing occupational performance for this population. In summary, the CoP was an effective method for building clinical competence for treating patients with NDD with this cohort of occupational therapists.

Original languageEnglish
JournalOccupational Therapy in Health Care
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • clinical competence
  • clinical practice
  • communities of practice
  • home health
  • multiple sclerosis
  • neurodegenerative disease
  • Parkinson’s disease

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