– To implement near-clinical studies have been very instructive and inspiring. It has been particularly valuable with supportive supervisors from both the University and the County Council. The collaboration has worked well and is completely in line with my desire to reduce the gap between research and practice, says Marianne Sirkka.
Despite a continuous improvement in practice, research on long-term and sustainable improvement remains limited and it is well known that sustainable improvements can be difficult to achieve.
The overall purpose of Marianne Sirkka thesis is to increase the knowledge about the opportunities and challenges in the long-term improvement with a focus on occupational therapy and teams.
Studied two units
The research consists of four studies that have focused on the sustainable improvement at two units in the Norrbotten County Council. In the first three studies, an improvement project that began in 2001 at an occupational therapy unit were studied. Studies were made on the process of long-term improvement, participants' experiences of participation and improvement work from a theoretical implementation perspective. In the fourth study, the implementation of a team-oriented and evidence-based treatment model that has been going since 2007 a team at a psychiatric unit was studied.
Leadership and procedures needed
The results of the study can be helpful when improvement works are planned and implemented at different units. To manage new knowledge coordinated incentives for sustainable improvement with integrated structure, strategic leadership and routines are needed.
Also needed is a common reflective approach with continuous evaluation and reflection to keep the target images live.
– It is also important to have a common culture that handle challenges and supports emotional aspects in the form of stress of conscience that may occur when the improvement work in line with Norrbotten County Councils guidelines are implemented parallel with the regular work, says Marianne Sirkka.
Marianne Sirkka defended her thesis on the 10th of June in occupational therapy at Luleå University of Technology.