Date of Award


Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)


Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Sonia Zimmerman


Mental Disorders -- therapy; Occupational Therapy -- methods; Professional Role


Purpose: The Illness Management and Recovery (IMR) model is a collaborative program that focuses on living with a chronic mental illness by educating the client on management techniques that will facilitate goal setting toward recovery (Mueser et al., 2006).The purpose of this scholarly project was to review the occupational therapy (OT) literature and determine the role of OT in IMR programs.

Method: A comprehensive review was conducted on occupational therapy interventions appropriate for inclusion in the IMR modules. Sources utilized for the review included: United States and international OT journals, OT textbooks, and other publications authored by OTs from the years 2002 to 2011.The strength of the literature within each module was evaluated and the determination made that a need exists for a guide establishing and supporting the role of OT in IMR implementation.

Results: The review of the literature indicated limited researched evidence showing implementation of OT in the IMR model; however, there were indications and evidence to suggest OTs may have a role within the IMR model. There is evidence supporting the role of OT within each modules, however there is limited support within ‘Using Medication Effectively, Reducing Relapse, and Getting Your Needs Met in the Mental Health System.’ The lack of evidence can limit the role of OT within the mental health system. This can also be problematic for OT practitioners and managers as there will not be a clear understanding of the role of OT and the profession’s scope of practice. Therefore, two guideline documents were developed for OT practitioners and non-OT managers to define the role of OT in IMR model programming.

Conclusions: The guideline documents justify the need for OT services to managers who may or may not be OTs; further, the documents provide direction to OT practitioners as service providers in IMR model programming. The guidelines serve to enhance support for the role of OT in IMR implementation and provide guidance during the intervention process within the 10 modules for practicing OTs who are members of the IMR recovery team.