An exploration of Saudi Occupational therapists’ understanding of and experience in using client-centred practice with stroke patients: Qualitative study

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Introduction: In Western countries, client-centred practice (CCP) in occupational therapy (OT) is regarded as essential. However, little thought has been given to its applicability in non-Western contexts. The purpose of this study is to investigate Saudi occupational therapists’ (OTs’) understanding and experience of applying client-centred practice with stroke patients. Methodology: The study used a qualitative methodology with a phenomenological approach, with the primary data being the therapists' understanding and experience of using the client-centred approach with stroke patients. Purposive sampling was used to select participants, and six semi-structured video conferencing interviews with Saudi OTs were conducted. The data was audio-recorded and transcribed textually. Braun and Clark's (2006) thematic analysis framework was selected to identify themes. Findings: From the data collected, three overarching themes comprised of several subthemes emerged. The three themes are: the CCP knowledge of Saudi OTs, participants’ position on the use of CCP with stroke patients, and finally, the barriers participants have encountered in the use of CCP when assisting patients with stroke in Saudi Arabia. Conclusion: The majority of participants have good knowledge of CCP, but the knowledge was limited when they graduated, and their understanding depends on their place of work. OT programs differ between Saudi universities, with some having a negative impact regarding the perceptions of therapists when it comes to CCP. Although Saudi OTs face challenges in applying CCP with stroke patients, the majority of participants emphasise that they keep using this approach with their stroke clients.