To provide or not to provide treatment? That is the question

Niina Kolehmainen, Jill Francis, Lorna McKee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


It is generally accepted that whether or not a client receives occupational therapy should be based on the client's needs, not on the therapist that the client sees. However, in the United Kingdom there is little evidence to show that treatment provision is similar between therapists or even that therapists share a common rationale for providing treatment. This research investigated paediatric occupational therapists' beliefs about and intentions to provide treatment for children with coordination difficulties.

Ten paediatric occupational therapists were recruited from two National Health Service Scotland Health Boards. The data were collected at one time point. Intentions and beliefs about treatment provision were explored and measured both at general and at case (situation-specific) levels. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected concurrently. Statistical and thematic approaches to analysis were applied.

The findings showed that the therapists shared similar general intentions and beliefs about providing treatment. However, the situation-specific intentions to provide treatment varied considerably between the therapists. The situation-specific intentions were characterised by consideration of the client's individual circumstances and a variation in the interpretations made about the information available. The beliefs that possibly contributed to the variation in the situation-specific intentions were also identified. This research informs the occupational therapy profession about issues related to the expectation that treatment provision is similar between therapists.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)510-523
Number of pages14
JournalBritish Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • occupational therapy
  • children
  • intention
  • beliefs
  • theory of planned behavior


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