Experiences of occupational therapists and occupational therapy students in using the Assessment of Communication and Interaction Skills in mental health settings in Norway


Publication date


Series/Report no

British Journal of Occupational Therapy;74 (7)


College of Occupational Therapists

Document type


Introduction: This study investigated the utility of the Assessment of Communication and Interaction Skills (ACIS) in mental health settings, as experienced by Norwegian occupational therapists and occupational therapy students. Method: An informal draft translation was used to investigate the appropriateness of the assessment for mental health practice. Focus group interviews were conducted with three occupational therapy practice educators working in mental health settings and six occupational therapy students on practice placement, who used the ACIS during an 8-week mental health practice placement in 2009. The focus groups aimed to explore the experiences of using the translated ACIS in working with clients. Findings: Three main themes emerged: observing with the ACIS, scoring the ACIS and using the ACIS in clinical practice. Conclusion: The ACIS has the potential for making a positive contribution, both for the individual client and for the larger team of multiprofessional staff, by giving a structure and terminology that supports precise observation and reporting. Questions were raised as to how the therapist’s level of engagement during the observation may have an impact upon the client’s performance. The process of scoring and giving feedback concerning the client’s skills may be emotionally challenging for therapists, students and clients, and issues about how to give feedback to clients require consideration.



Copyright held by the College of Occupational Therapists Ltd.

Permanent URL (for citation purposes)

  • http://hdl.handle.net/10642/915