Occupational therapists’ perspectives on knowledge transfer in clinical practice in the Free State, South Africa





Q methodology, theory and research, practice research, patient-therapist relationship, patient voice, occupational therapy clinical practice


Background: The transfer of all types of knowledge in occupational

therapy practice is complex, and there is little agreement globally on the

most important types of knowledge that inform clinical practice. This

study aimed to uncover the perspectives of occupational therapists in the

Free State, South Africa on knowledge transfer in clinical practice.

Methodology: Q methodology was used to collect data from 14

occupational therapists utilising Q Method Software.

Results: Factor analysis revealed two factors with eigenvalues of greater

than 1. Factor 1 had an eigenvalue of 2.97, and factor 2 had an eigenvalue

of 1.48. These two factors were constructed from six and five participants’

Q Sorts respectively, with the highest factor loads for factor 1 and factor 2.

Thematic content analysis of these two factors identified two themes,

namely: client-centred philosophy and practice informed through clinical


Conclusion: The strategic use of Q methodology presented empirical

evidence of the transfer and utilisation of all types of knowledge in

clinical practice in the Free State, South Africa. The results indicated the

transfer of propositional, procedural, personal, and client knowledge

strengthens client-centred practice and manifests in clinical reasoning.

Furthermore, the results indicate an interdependence between the types

of knowledge, meaning that it is important that therapists utilise all types

of knowledge and not rely on only one form of knowledge when they

work with patients to promote well-being.

Implications for Practice

• Q Methodology is an ideal research method to identify the

subjective perspectives of participants where different opinions on

a topic might exist.

• Clinicians hold a wealth of practice experience and personal

knowledge that should be shared and captured through research.

• The client’s voice needs to be heard more often to ensure clientcentred

practice is not only an idea on paper.


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How to Cite

Swanepoel, A., Janse van Vuuren, E. C., & Nayar, S. (2024). Occupational therapists’ perspectives on knowledge transfer in clinical practice in the Free State, South Africa. South African Journal of Occupational Therapy, 54(1), 54–62. https://doi.org/10.17159/2310-3833/2024/vol54no1a7



Research Articles