Document Type

Critically Appraised Topic

Publication Date


Clinical Scenario

Occupational therapists play a large role in the treatment and recovery process for individuals who have a mental illness in a wide variety of settings. Throughout the world there has been a push for deinstitutionalization of mental health clients. With the closing of psychiatric hospitals more clients are now living and receiving treatment in the community. As an occupational therapist it is necessary to be aware of what is best for each client and advocate that they receive treatment that matches their needs and will improve their quality of life.

Clinical Question

How is quality of life in adult mental health clients affected by living in a community setting compared to living in an institution?

Clinical Bottom Line

Research indicates that, for many cultures, clients receiving treatment in the community typically have an increased quality of life. However, there has been a limited amount of research regarding the clinical implications of community versus hospital treatments for clients who are from other cultures. Occupational therapists can play a key role in advocating for clients of all cultures to receive treatment in a facility type that best fits the client’s individual needs.