York St John University - Research for Occupation and Mental Health

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The Bridge                                                      Issue 42

Bridging the gap between research and practice

Dr Katrina BanniganI recently had the privilege of attending the Council of Occupational Therapists in European Countries (COTEC ) conference in Stockholm, Sweden. This was a meeting of over 900 people with a focus on occupation. Mental health was only one aspect of the conference; the conference theme was Occupation Diversity. I will try to give you a flavour of the conference, particularly the research presented, from a mental health perspective. Remember it is just one person's reflections; I was only able to attend a certain number of sessions in a large, varied conference. If you have any different reflections that you would like to add please contact us at RCOMH@yorksj.ac.uk and we will include them in future editions of The Bridge.


Health 20:20

One of the key note speeches about Health 20:20 was given by Dr Rohko Kim from the World Health Organisation (WHO do I hear you ask?) European Centre for Environment and Health. There were some important messages for researchers.
World Health Organisation
Researching occupation & mental health
There were a limited number of papers related to occupation & mental health but the papers presented were of a high quality. We hope to feature the work of some of these researchers in future issues of the The Bridge. It was good to have the opportunity to hear some of the research leaders in the field of occupation and mental health present their work .
COTEC 2012 Conference
Defining terms
I was very interested in papers that were presented about defining terms. I listened to two paper; one about occupational identity and another about occupational balance (Wagman et al 2011). Interesting, especially for us at RCOMH, where we are reviewing the concept of participation as part of our project Developing a measure of participation in mental health, both papers used the same methodology (Walker and Avant 2011). Developing consistent definitions of key terms (operationalisation) is very important for conducting research so that can be pooled. To read more see:
  • Walker, L. O., & Avant, C. K. (2011). Strategies for theory construction in nursing (5ed.). Upper Saddle River NJ: Prentice Hall.
  • Wagman, P., Håkansson, C., & Björklund, A. (2011). Occupational balance as used in occupational therapy: A concept analysis Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy, Published online 2011 07 25.
A new perspective on reflexivity

Lindsey Nicholls, from Brunel University, and Heather Hunter, Queen Margaret University (Edinburgh), gave a very powerful paper about reflexivity. This paper appealed to me because it has long been a bugbear of mine that such limited attention is paid to reflexivity in qualitative research.

RCOMH in the COTEC programme
RCOMH presented two posters and two papers; these were about the EAGER project, the SIPPS project and RCOMH's work. These were well received and hopefully some of you are reading this edition of The Bridge because you decided to sign up as a result of attending the presentation at COTEC. RCOMH and The Bridge is a resource for the research community researching occupation and mental health. If you want to share your work please let us know (RCOMH@yorksj.ac.uk) and you could be a feature in a future edition. The Bridge is sent out to 500 people a month.
Spotlight on research
Mari Basiletti travelled from Prince Edward Island, Canada, to COTEC to present her Masters research, which was supervised by Professor Elizabeth Townsend. As it was simultaneously published in the British Journal of Occupational Therapy we have made it the focus of this Spotlight on research which is a reflection on the study by Katrina Bannigan.
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