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Allison Klowan, OT, OTD, OTR; Mary Beth Kadlec, ScD, OTR/L; Stefanie Johnston


Background: Parent-mediated occupational therapy (OT) is a family-centered method of providing care for children and their families. This study aimed to understand and describe the parents’ perspectives of whether parent-mediated OT services improve child participation and parent-child social interactions in the home and community.

Method: This study was performed with a qualitative, phenomenological research design using focus groups. Eight participants were included in the study who were parents of children with at least one NDD, such as autism spectrum disorder or attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder.

Results: Four major themes were developed: It’s a Family Affair, Sometimes it Just Takes a Bit of Training, Using [OT Strategies] to the Full Extent, and It’s Definitely Better to be in the Session. One-hundred percent of the participants experienced the phenomenon described in two themes and 87.5% of the participants experienced the phenomenon described in two themes.

Conclusion: Parent-mediated OT services may lead to substantial learning among parents, facilitate parents’ use of OT strategies in their home and community environments, improve child participation in daily activities, and improve parent-child communication and engagement.


The authors declare that they have no competing financial, professional, or personal interest that might have influenced the performance or presentation of the work described in this manuscript.