Date Presented 04/22/2023

OT has a unique role in community mental health, including assertive community treatment (ACT) teams. This study explored occupational performance and satisfaction among ACT clients to help advance the profession in mental health.

Primary Author and Speaker: Ashley N. Fuentes

Contributing Authors: Jennifer Gardner

Occupational therapy services improve outcomes for individuals with serious mental illnesses in the community (Noyes & Lannigan, 2019), such as Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) clients. ACT teams facilitate deinstitutionalization and promote community reintegration and independence through integrated services in the community (Bond & Drake, 2015), which aligns with the occupational therapy profession. However, there is a lack of research exploring occupational therapy interventions on ACT teams. Therefore, this study sought to answer the following research question: Do occupational therapy interventions benefit ACT clients by improving their occupational performance and satisfaction from the client and staff perspectives? This study utilized a mixed-methods design to analyze ACT clients’ occupational therapy data and ACT staff members’ perceptions of the services. Clients’ quantitative data, Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM) scores, were obtained from the ACT team agency and staff members’ qualitative data was gathered through semi-structured interviews. Clients’ COPM scores revealed an increase in occupational performance and satisfaction, with most goals related to self-care. Staff members’ qualitative data revealed three themes: clients’ occupational engagement increased with occupational therapy services, staff members’ knowledge regarding the occupational therapy profession increased, and occupational therapy provided a strong contribution to a holistic approach. Results revealed that occupational therapy services increased ACT clients’ occupational performance and satisfaction and benefited the staff members. This research study demonstrates the importance of occupational therapy on ACT teams, potentially resulting in the profession’s increased inclusion and recognition. Further research should explore if this increase in occupational performance and satisfaction differ from clients who receive standard ACT care without occupational therapy.


Bond, G. R., & Drake, R. E. (2015). The critical ingredients of assertive community treatment. World Psychiatry (14)2.

Noyes, D., & Lannigan, E. H. (2019). Occupational therapy practice guidelines for adults living with serious mental illness. AOTA Press.