Forensicare Occupational Therapist, Lorrae Mynard awarded grant by the Occupational Therapy Australia Research Foundation.

Forensicare Occupational Therapist, Lorrae Mynard awarded grant by the Occupational Therapy Australia Research Foundation.

Lead occupational therapist, Lorrae Mynard has received a grant from the Occupational Therapy Australia Research Foundation to evaluate the implementation of occupational formulation at Forensicare.

Since late 2019, Ms Mynard has been undertaking a PhD with Monash University and in February 2021 she commenced the implementation phase of her project to establish occupational formulation at Forensicare. The project uses a participatory action research approach, which involves members of the occupational therapy team participating in the project and taking action together to implement occupational formulation within their practice.

This grant will enable Ms Mynard to evaluate the work that she and the team have undertaken and ultimately contribute to the evidence base for the use of occupational formulation within occupational therapy.

What is occupational formulation?

Ms Mynard said that occupational formulation is a stage in the occupational therapy practice process where the therapist draws on occupational theory to understand the person’s participation in occupation. 

“Occupational formulation is a collaborative approach to creating a narrative about a person’s occupational identity and occupational competence. Through the process, therapists and consumers identify the key occupational needs and develop goals to work on.”

The occupational therapy team have undertaken a range of service development activities such as training, community of practice sessions, and coaching clinics.

“It’s really encouraging to hear feedback from occupational therapists about how occupational formulation can offer a different perspective on a person and their needs. There have been several accounts of consumers being really excited to collaborate on an occupational formulation, and even asking to have a copy to share with people in their lives.”

Evaluating the project

The Occupational Therapy Australia Research Foundation’s aim is to support research aimed at enhancing the inclusion, participation, health and wellbeing of Australians through occupation.

The funding received will help with conducting focus groups and interviews with consumers and occupational therapists. This qualitative information will be used alongside data gathered through surveys and from documentation audits to enable Ms Mynard and the team to evaluate the impact of occupational formulation within occupational therapy practice.

“We’re really looking forward to understanding more about the impact of using occupational formulation in practice. While the approach is strongly grounded in theory, there isn’t much published evidence yet so in evaluating our work there’s also an opportunity to contribute to the evidence base for the profession,” said Ms Mynard.

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