Supporting occupational therapists implementing a capacity-building model in schools
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BACKGROUND: Adopting a new model of clinical practice is complex. Professional development programs based on best-practice principles may facilitate this process. PURPOSE: This paper describes the development and evaluation of a multifaceted professional development program designed to support school-based occupational therapists to deliver a capacity-building model of service. METHOD: Twenty-two therapists participated in the program; completed pre-post evaluations of knowledge, skills, and beliefs; evaluated specific components of the training program; and participated in focus groups. Quantitative data were analyzed using descriptive and inferential statistics. Qualitative data were analyzed using a directed content analysis. FINDINGS: Therapists' perceptions of their knowledge and skills showed statistically significant change. Both training and mentorship were highly valued; however, having opportunities to build peer networks was considered essential. IMPLICATIONS: Multifaceted professional development programs designed using best-practice principles are an important mechanism for facilitating practice change. Including a process for peer support is advised.
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