Meeting the Challenge of Assessing Clinical Competence of Occupational Therapists within a Program Management Environment Academic Article uri icon

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  • Background. Program management models have raised concerns among occupational therapists about professional standards related to clinical competence, performance review procedures, and quality improvement initiatives.Purpose. This paper describes how a chart-stimulated recall (CSR) peer-review process and interview tool was revised, implemented, and evaluated as a pilot project to assess the clinical competence of occupational therapy staff at a large urban health centre in southern Ontario.Methods. Fourteen pairs (n=28) of occupational therapists representing various practice areas participated in this project. Half served as peer assessors and half as interviewees. Peer assessors conducted an independent chart review followed by a one-hour personal interview with a peer partner to discuss clinical management issues related to the client cases. Each interviewer rated his or her partner's clinical competence in eight areas of performance using a 7-point Likert scale.Findings. Results indicated that the CSR tool could discriminate among occupational therapists in terms of overall levels of clinical competence and also identify specific areas of concern that could be targeted for professional development. Feedback from participants was positive.Conclusions. The CSR tool was found to be useful for assessing clinical competence of occupational therapists in this large health centre as a quality improvement initiative within that discipline group. Further research is needed to establish the reliability and validity of the CSR tool.


  • Salvatori, Penny
  • Simonavicius, Nijole
  • Moore, Joan
  • Rimmer, Georgina
  • Patterson, Michele

publication date

  • February 2008