The Occupational Therapist Practitioner’s Role in Facilitating Community Participation and Peer Mentorship After SCI




Tran, Emily

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The purpose of this study is to explore the occupational therapy practitioner’s perceived role in rehabilitation and peer mentorship among individuals with SCI, and their knowledge of community programs. In this hermeneutic phenomenological qualitative study, semi-structured interviews of occupational therapy practitioners (n = 10) were conducted. The participants were recruited through email communication and on-site visits. Qualitative thematic analysis was used to inductively and deductively code data and identify themes by three independent coders. Three major themes emerged from the data: (a) the perception of occupational therapy practitioners in their role in SCI rehabilitation, (b) meeting a SCI patient in their stage of recovery, and (c) facilitating peer mentorship among individuals with SCI. Participants also described the community programs and resources that they shared with their SCI patients, which often included adaptive sports, but only one of the 10 participants mentioned a mental health resource. The findings of this study can aid in future occupational therapy care and rehabilitation for individuals with SCI to have initiated community participation interventions and facilitate peer mentorship opportunities for individuals with SCI.



Occupational therapy, Spinal cord injury, SCI, Occupational therapist, Phenomenology, Peer mentorship, Community participation, Rehabilitation