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Title: Towards a definition of professionalism in Australian occupational therapy: Using the Delphi technique to obtain consensus on essential values and behaviours
Contributor(s): Aguilar, Alejandra E (author); Stupans, Ieva  (author); Scutter, Sheila (author); King, Sharron (author)
Publication Date: 2013
DOI: 10.1111/1440-1630.12017
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Abstract: Background/aim: Professionalism involves practitioners applying the values of their profession and demonstrating essential professional behaviours and attitudes. Within the Australian occupational therapy profession, there is little research on the values, behaviours and attitudes that constitute professionalism. As a result, there is limited understanding of professionalism, and the approaches used to enhance the professionalism of future practitioners are not evidence based. This study aimed to contribute to the understanding of professionalism within the Australian occupational therapy profession, by obtaining consensus among Australian occupational therapists on the professional values and behaviours essential for practice. Method: A constructivist paradigm guided this study. The Delphi technique was used to obtain consensus on essential professional values and behaviours among 68 occupational therapists. Consensus was identified by numerical and content analysis. Results: After two Delphi rounds, 61 professional values were identified as essential for practice. These values related to ethical practice, client-centred practice, contemporary practice and to the foundational beliefs of the profession. Seven professional behaviours also achieved consensus, but there was clear disparity in participants' opinions. Conclusion: The results provide insight into several professional values and behaviours perceived as essential for practice. Consequently, these professional values need to be taken into consideration when defining the values of the profession. The professional behaviours need to be taken into account when finalising the essential behaviours that constitute professionalism in the profession. This study takes an initial but fundamental step towards defining professionalism within the Australian occupational therapy profession.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 60(3), p. 206-216
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Place of Publication: Australia
ISSN: 1440-1630
Field of Research (FOR): 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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