A bioecological approach to supporting adolescent re-entry to school following psychiatric hospitalization
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The rate of adolescent psychiatric hospitalization has been rapidly increasing alongside shorter lengths of stay and risks for poor continuity of care. While youth are often ready for discharge from a psychiatric hospital, they may be unprepared for re-entry to school. Occupational therapists, with training to promote participation in both school and mental health settings, are well suited to address the needs and barriers associated with adolescent school reintegration. This project is informed by the bioecological model of human development which posits that an individual’s ability to develop and participate in meaningful life activity is shaped by multiple levels of interwoven contexts. The Double ABCX Model posits that there are three characteristics associated with a family’s risk for, and adaptation to a family crisis. These factors are stressors, resources, and perception of stressors. The capstone project included the following objectives: a) gain an advanced knowledge of OT’s role in school reintegration for adolescents who have been recently hospitalized; b) develop a thorough understanding of needs, barriers, supports to school reintegration following hospitalization; c) identify feasible therapeutic supports (i.e., coping strategies, environmental adaptations) for youth to utilize during school routine; d) advocate for the role of occupational therapy in inpatient child and adolescent psychiatric settings; e) generate patient education content for caregivers and youth in order to facilitate transition from psychiatric hospital to school routine. To evaluate the aims listed, a combination of quantitative and qualitative data were collected from a variety of stakeholders.
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