Advances in Mental Health, Vol 10, No 2 (2011)

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Better Access to Mental Health: Mapping the Evidence Supporting Participation in Meaningful Occupations

Danielle Hitch

Abstract


Introduction: The purpose of this scoping and mapping project is to assess evidence for the use of focused psychological strategies (FPS) under the Better Access to Mental Health (BAMH) scheme to enable people with mental health problems to increase their functional performance and to participate in meaningful occupations. In particular, it aims to provide an accessible summary of evidence for practitioners who use FPS with their clients.

Methods: Evidence scoping and mapping is a relatively new technique, used to provide an overview of key findings in an area of practice. A five stage process of scoping and mapping was used in this project.

Results: A total of 81 studies which addressed the use of focused psychological strategies to promote functional performance and participation in meaningful occupations were found. Surprisingly, only three were published in occupational therapy journals with one further article being authored by occupational therapists. Three maps are provided showing this evidence by diagnosis, intervention and level of evidence.

Conclusion: Clinicians can say with some confidence that cognitive behavioural therapies are effective functional tools, particularly when working with people with depression or schizophrenia. They can also be confident that good quality evidence exists across a range of diagnoses, although there are many gaps where little to no research has been conducted.  Suggestions for further research are provided which take into account the findings of these maps.
 






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