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The voice: are occupational therapists using their voice to influence?

This poster presents the findings from an MSc dissertation in Leadership in Health and Social Care. The research question being asked is as follows: ‘Are occupational therapists using their voice to influence and promote the value of the profession, and what does this mean for the profession as a whole? A literature review was conducted to establish whether occupational therapists have the skills and capability to be the ‘voice of the profession,’ as requested by the College of Occupational Therapy in its annual review 2015 (COT 2015). Voice behaviour is defined as a transmission of information from one person to another (VanDyne et al. 2003), being seen as beneficial to leadership (Detert et al. 2013) and as a vehicle to exchange ideas and suggestions. In total, 15 research articles were reviewed, resulting in the following themes which are critically discussed: • professional identity •leadership power. The findings indicate that while the profession originates from a relatively subordinate position, issues relating to the aforementioned themes continue to influence the ability of the profession to seize potential opportunities, against a backdrop of health and socio-economic challenges (Five Year Forward View, DH, 2014). It is suggested that this work complements the profession’s campaign, ‘Improving Lives, Saving Money,’ (COT 2015). Recommendations for current and future occupational therapists are made, including the introduction of a conceptual model suggesting that the use of ‘voice’ is fundamental, alongside ten top tips for developing confidence, promoting the profession and maximising mentor opportunities.

Crossley, H. (2017) The voice; areoccupationaltherapistsusing their voice to influence?, British Journal of Occupational Therapy, Supplement 80, pp85-85.

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