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Sissel Horghagen, Tore Bonsaksen, Unni Sveen, Anne Stine Dolva and Cathrine Arntzen

Reforms in the health-care system may impact how health-care professionals perceive and enact their roles. This study aims to examine the way in which occupational…

Abstract

Purpose

Reforms in the health-care system may impact how health-care professionals perceive and enact their roles. This study aims to examine the way in which occupational therapists experience and describe their roles in municipalities after the implementation of a health reform (the Coordination Act) in Norway.

Design/methodology/approach

This qualitative study was designed within the perspectives of social constructivism. Data was collected through focus group interviews with 10 community-working occupational therapists. A thematic framework analysis was used to examine the participants’ experiences.

Findings

The following four themes emerged: external factors that framed and shaped the occupational therapists’ roles in municipalities; the strengths and dilemmas of the generalist; the problematic generic position and the strengths; and dilemmas of the specialist.

Originality/value

The study suggests that occupational therapy practitioners should identify new opportunities and adapt to health reform changes. They also need to renegotiate their roles as the health reforms require more specialized competences. Greater emphasis must be placed on the core knowledge and competences of occupational therapists to strengthen their professional identity in the municipalities.

Details

Irish Journal of Occupational Therapy, vol. 48 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-8819

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