Occupational therapists' competencies utilised in Danish job centres

Jeanette Reffstrup Christensen, Tove Lise Nielsen, Thivya Nagaraj-Sithamparanathan, Pia Maria Ilvig

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Twenty-nine out of 94 Danish job centres employ occupational therapists (OTs) and numbers are increasing. Occupational therapy (OT) vocational rehabilitations are diverse, and a more specific description of OT practice within this field is lacking.
To explore how OTs employed at Danish job centres describe their own competencies and what they perceive that their colleagues from other professions request from them.
Material and Methods
Firstly, working diaries were obtained from 16 OTs working in job centres and analysed using content analysis. Secondly, semi-structured interviews were performed and analysed using systematic text condensation.
The 16 OTs described four areas of competencies to their profession’s practice within job centres; client-centeredness; a holistic approach; work ability assessments and ergonomics and adaptation. The OTs perceived that their colleagues requested their work ability assessment skills and their competencies as health professionals.
The OTs had a client-centered and holistic focus on the citizens’ whole life situation and used their health professional education and knowledge of ergonomics and adaptation to strengthen their work ability assessments.
The OTs perceived that they had competencies that supplemented the competencies of the interdisciplinary team. The results therefore support the inclusion of OTs within job centres.
Translated title of the contributionErgoterapeuters kompetencer anvendt i danske jobcentre
Original languageEnglish
JournalScandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)313-322
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • social work and social conditions


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