Academic journal article British Journal of Occupational Therapy

Focus on Research

Academic journal article British Journal of Occupational Therapy

Focus on Research

Article excerpt

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Engagement is an influential and prolific concept in mental health; however, its meaning is often poorly defined or assumed. The purpose of this study was to describe the experience and meaning of engagement for staff and clients of assertive outreach teams. In particular, it aimed to illuminate the essence of the experience of engagement while comparing and contrasting the experiences reported by staff and client participants. Qualitative methodology was the most appropriate choice for this subject, with interpretative phenomenological analysis (IPA) selected for its flexibility and transparent approach.

After gaining ethical approval, participants were recruited from two inner London boroughs and the final cohort consisted of five clients and five staff (n = 10). Data were collected by semi-structured interviews, with member checking occurring at the transcript stage. The interviews were analysed idiographically and themes, together with a detailed description of the engagement experience, were produced for each participant. Four superordinate themes common to both groups of participants emerged from analysis of these experiences: engagement as an interpersonal relationship, engagement as a temporal phenomenon, enabling and disabling factors and engagement in occupation. …

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