The competence of mental health occupational therapists

Amanda Jane Greaves*, Robert King, Peter Yellowlees, Susan Spence, Chris Lloyd

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)


    This research sought to investigate the self-perceived competence of mental health occupational therapists in Queensland. The research is a post-hoc analysis of survey results that formed part of the 1995 Professional Development Strategy for Adult Mental Health Services for the Queensland Health Mental Health Unit. A sample of 55 occupational therapists was compared with other professionals in relation to both general self-efficacy and efficacy in specific competencies. The devised scale for measuring self-efficacy was found to have a high level of internal reliability. The results indicated that the general self-perceived competence of occupational therapists for the whole sample was comparable to that of other professional groups, but that in the community-based sample it was significantly higher than that of social workers or nurses. In addition, occupational therapists in community settings had significantly higher general self-perceived competence than occupational therapists in hospital locations. Greater length of experience in mental health was strongly predictive of higher levels of competence for occupational therapists than for other professionals. The results suggest that occupational therapists have adapted well to the demands of multidisciplinary community practice. The possible reasons for these results, and the implications for competency-based recruitment and training, are presented.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)381-386
    Number of pages6
    JournalBritish Journal of Occupational Therapy
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - Aug 2002


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