Mothers' perceptions of their children's occupational therapy processes: a qualitative interview study

N Kolehmainen, Edward Duncan, Lorna McKee, Jill Francis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to explore parents' views of the management of their children's occupational therapy in the United Kingdom (UK). Forty-one parents of children recently seen by occupational therapists were approached. Seven mothers from four different health boards who agreed to participate were interviewed about their experiences and views of their child's occupational therapy. The interviews were transcribed verbatim and analysed thematically.

The interview data suggest that achieving a good quality therapy process requires therapists to appreciate mothers' desire actively to 'do things' to help their child and to protect their child from harm. Therapists can support mothers in this by facilitating their access to treatment and support for their child, where the treatment and support are in line with the goals of the child, the parents and the school. The mothers emphasised the importance of interactions between them, the therapist and educational staff. Specifically, shared understandings of the child's condition between the parent and the therapist, and therapists' active engagement of parents, appeared to be linked to parents' positive views of therapy.

The findings map onto the literature from North America about parents' expectations of children's rehabilitation services. Recommendations for practice and future research are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)192-199
Number of pages8
JournalBritish Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2010


  • therapy process
  • caseload management
  • parent perception


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