Occupation-based intervention in hand injury rehabilitation: Experiences of occupational therapists in Malaysia

<p><i>Introduction</i>: In a previous study consensus was sought from Malaysian occupational therapists of occupation-based intervention (OBI) that was perceived as a means and an end. Occupation as a means refers to occupational and purposeful tasks as a therapeutic agent while occupation as an end refers to occupation as an outcome of intervention. The purpose of this follow-up study was to describe the occupational therapists’ experiences of providing OBI in hand injury rehabilitation in Malaysia. <i>Methods</i>: Sixteen occupational therapists with more than five years of experience in hand rehabilitation were individually interviewed on their experiences of using OBI in practice. Data were thematically analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. <i>Results</i>: Definition of “Occupation as a means”, and “Occupation as an end” was broadened after data analysis of interviews to include two new themes: “Rewarding yet challenging” and “Making OBI a reality”. Occupational therapists had positive experiences with OBI and perceived that occupation as a means and an end can be merged into a single therapy session when the occupational therapists use an occupation that is therapeutic. <i>Conclusion</i>: Although occupation as a means and as an end have different purposes, when the ultimate goal is to enhance the clients’ maximum level of functioning both can be used for successful rehabilitation of hand injuries.</p>