A qualitative evaluation of occupational therapy-led work rehabilitation for people with inflammatory arthritis: Perspectives of therapists and their line managers
Introduction: Occupational therapy-led work rehabilitation for employed people with inflammatory arthritis and work problems
was piloted in five hospitals in the United Kingdom. This qualitative study explored the views of participating occupational
therapists and their line managers about the work rehabilitation training received and conducting the intervention, with particular
focus on the structured interview used, the Work Experience Survey – Rheumatic Conditions.
Method: Face-to-face semi-structured interviews were conducted with occupational therapists (n.9), followed by telephone
interviews with their line managers (n.2). Interviews were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim and thematically analysed by
three researchers to maximize validity.
Results: The main themes emerging from the occupational therapists’ interviews were: varying levels of prior knowledge and
experience of work rehabilitation, initial concerns about the feasibility of a lengthy work assessment in practice and increased
confidence in delivering work rehabilitation as the study progressed. The line managers’ interviews generated themes around the
positive impact of the work rehabilitation training the occupational therapists received, and changes in their practice.
Conclusion: The Work Experience Survey – Rheumatic Conditions was considered a good choice of work assessment which can be
implemented in practice. Once therapists had provided the work intervention several times, their confidence and skills increased.