UKZN HOSTS COLLOQUIUM ON OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY CREATIVE ABILITY MODEL
2010/03/09 08:23:19 AM
From left: Ms Lana van Niekerk, Mrs Dain van der Reyden, Ms Carole Pretorius, Professor Robin Joubert and Ms Judy Lingah
Occupational Therapists (OTs) from institutions around South Africa and abroad converged at UKZN’s Westville campus on February 19-20 to re-ignite debate around a proudly South African Occupational Therapy Practice Model known as Creative Ability (CA).
Organised by the Discipline of Occupational Therapy the purpose behind the Creative Ability Colloquium was twofold: to pay tribute to Mrs Dain van der Reyden, one of the architects of the CA model who had dedicated 45 years to the profession, and to map out a plan of action to further develop the model created by Mrs Vona du Toit 43 years ago. According to Mrs van der Reyden the CA model is of a developmental nature and focuses on defining motivation as a measure that inspires and guides a person’s actions among people. It provides OTs with a comprehensive set of guidelines to test the strength of motivation that elicits action, and to plan and provide intervention at the appropriate level of the individual’s performance.
Fifteen presentations were made by local and international speakers during the two-day Colloquium which addressed the achievements and challenges for the CA Model; international developments in CA; research in progress pertaining to the CA model; and clarification on CA terminology.
Welcoming the visiting OTs to UKZN, Colloquium Co-ordinator and the Head of the School of Audiology, Occupational Therapy and Speech-Language Pathology, Professor Robin Joubert said the Colloquium was a long overdue opportunity to showcase and reignite discussion around the development of the CA model. She said Mrs van der Reyden who had been an Senior Lecturer in Occupational Therapy at UKZN for 17 years before her retirement last year had been an “integral cog” in the wheel of CA since its inception in the 1960s and had ensured it remained on the agenda of national conferences and formed part of the curriculum at tertiary institutions.
“One of the concerns about the CA ‘model’ is the fact that adequate time has not been dedicated to resolving issues around the status of the model. While there are currently several research projects related to CA in progress or completed, there is still a need for many more,” said Professor Joubert.
Addressing the Colloquium the Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor Sabiha Essack took the opportunity to inform delegates that UKZN which celebrates 100 years of academia this year has been at the forefront of pioneering research. She said the Discipline of Occupational Therapy at UKZN continued to play a pioneering role in CA and other areas in the field. She indicated that a gathering of OTs at an event such as the Colloquium was an opportunity to record achievements to date in the field and chart a way forward for occupational therapy.
Mrs van der Reyden’s keynote presentation on day one of the Colloquium titled: Getting our RSA “Creative Ducks” in a Row outlined what the CA model has accomplished in the 43 years since its creation and plans to improve the existing model.
While the CA concept has earned widespread interest among local and international OTs, who espouse its effectiveness, Mrs van der Reyden acknowledged that more needs to be done in promoting avenues of research into CA; increasing the number of postgraduate students both locally and abroad in this niche area; finalising concepts and terminology around the CA model that is universally acceptable and encourage more discussion around CA.
Mrs van der Reyden believes that a need exists to develop a community of practice where seasoned OTs share their experiences and practices with the younger generation, particularly between practitioners from different countries, and generate awareness of the work that has been undertaken.
Participants at the Colloquium noted the Eurocentric nature of the model and suggested a need to consider adapting CA to culturally diverse contexts. Another suggestion to improve on the CA model was a comparative study of other models used by OTs in practice.
The delegates participated very actively and collectively decided upon several projects which would enhance and contribute to the development of the model and make it more accessible to the international community. These included the continuation of a critical review of all terminology and concepts and theoretical constructs; clarification of aspects of concern; further definition of research needs and development of collaborative research internationally; co-ordination of training nationally and extensive revision and refinement of the existing textbook on the model.
The Colloquium undoubtedly contributed much to the consolidation of the significance of this model for professional practice and provided a wonderful opportunity for sharing and networking.