A Critical Discourse Analysis of representations of occupational therapy and occupations in medical media

Cathy White, Josh Cameron

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introduction: English healthcare reforms have prompted occupational therapists to increase efforts to promote their profession to service commissioners (many of whom are general practitioners). Concerns exist that some medical doctors may not fully understand the role of occupational therapists. This research investigated portrayals of occupational therapy and occupations in media aimed at general practitioners. Method: A critical discourse analysis of 13 on-line and 13 magazine articles from a leading medical publisher. Findings: Two major discourses were identified: occupational therapy is a valued service - this was qualified by 2 articles considering responses to public spending austerity measures; secondly, occupation is an important aspect of life that can be enabled by medication or restricted by illness - this contrasted to very limited presentation of the therapeutic potential of occupations. Across all findings there was little reference to mental health conditions. Conclusion: Occupational therapists should welcome acknowledgements of the importance of occupations to people's health and well-being, and, also the portrayal of occupational therapy as valuable. However, occupational therapists should increase their efforts to explain the following to general practitioners and commissioners: their effectiveness; how occupations can be therapeutic; and the role of the profession supporting people with mental health problems.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBrighton Journal of Research in Health Sciences
Volume1
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 16 Jun 2015

Bibliographical note

© 2015 Brighton Journal of Research in Health Sciences and the authors

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