When Occupational Therapy Goes Wrong.

tick-or-x-button‘When Occupational Therapy Goes Wrong’ is the title of the #OTalk Twitter chat I’m hosting on Tuesday 17th September at 20.00 BST.  If you’re new to Twitter chats and want some help to get started please feel free to contact me (@pd2ot) or the OTalk/occhat team ( @OTalk_Occhat on Twitter, or browse the main blog). Due to the nature of the discussion it is important that all participants are mindful of professionalism, especially confidentiality. The full Health and Care Professions Council Guidance for Social Media can be accessed here.

The idea for the talk originated on Twitter through a somewhat playful discussion about unhelpful experiences of occupational therapy. My own initial experiences of receiving occupational therapy as a service user were far from positive (I explored the issues I faced in ‘OT is for Thick People’ ), but I then went on to experience some great treatment.  Rather than the chat being a space simply to vent frustrations, my hope is that service users and professionals can unite to explore times when occupational therapy has ‘gone wrong’, gain understanding as to why  the quality of the service delivered/received was less than ideal and work out how  things could have been different.

We really welcome contributions from service-users, carers, students and professionals (and any combination of the four) for this chat. Here are some questions to prompt some reflection before the chat.

Service-users and Carers

What has been your experience of occupational therapy?
Have you ever felt your occupational therapy ‘went wrong’, or observed it happening to the person you care for?
What sort of things have been unhelpful?
What would you have preferred to happen?
Have you ever had a better experience? What made it more positive?


Are there any specific challenges for students, not common to qualified staff, that have meant occupational therapy ‘went wrong’ in the practice environment?
How did you overcome these challenges? Or how would you approach things differently in a similar situation?


What type of things do you think are included in ‘occupational therapy going wrong’?
What type of things do you think service users and carers include in ‘occupational therapy going wrong’?
Have staff shortages, service policies, limits on resources or intervention duration, politics or any other external factors ever meant that you were unhappy with the type of occupational therapy intervention provided?
Have you felt you lacked the experience, support or knowledge to prevent ‘OT going wrong’?
Have you managed to overcome these challenges? How did you do it?
Have you had to be creative in your approach to manage the challenges?
How are you checking you’re ‘getting it right’? Outcome measures? Service-user feedback?
What have you learned from times when things have gone wrong?

We’re looking forward to hearing your views during the chat using the #OTalk hashtag. If you’re unable to join in during the live hour please tweet anyway as all tweets will be collated into a grabchat 24 hours after the chat. Comments are also very welcome on the blog post.

Remember, from every ‘what went wrong’ we hope to use the experience to improve the quality of occupational therapy provided or received.