Clinical Effectiveness of Occupational Therapy in Mental Health: A Meta-Analysis

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Abstract

OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to estimate the effectiveness of theory-based occupational therapy interventions in improving occupational performance and well-being among people with a mental health diagnosis.

METHOD. The meta-analysis included 11 randomized controlled trials with a total of 520 adult participants with a mental health diagnosis. Outcomes were occupational performance, well-being, or both. We conducted meta-analyses using Comprehensive Meta-Analysis software (Version 3.0) with occupational performance and well-being as the dependent variables.

RESULTS. Results indicated a medium effect of intervention on improving occupational performance (mean Hedge’s g = 0.50, Z = 4.05, p < .001) and a small effect on well-being (mean Hedge’s g = 0.46, Z = 4.96, p < .001).

CONCLUSION. Theory-based occupational therapy interventions may be effective in improving occupational performance and well-being among people with a mental health diagnosis and should be an integral part of rehabilitation services in mental health.

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