The Use of the Assessment of Communication and Interaction Skills in a Forensic Setting

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

Abstract

The aim of this study is to consider, through reflective practice, the appropriateness of the Assessment of Communication and Interactions Skills (ACIS) when used as an outcome measure in a medium secure forensic environment. 

In forensic settings, the opportunities to engage in occupations are shaped by security procedures. These procedures impact directly upon engagement socially, as managing risk can cause people to withdraw and abandon their efforts to participate in occupations, and their interactions with other people (Cronin-Davis, Lang & Molineux, 2004; Dressler & Snively, 1998). 
The Assessment of Communication and Interactions Skills (ACIS) is an observational assessment that gathers data on the skills that a person exhibits when communicating and interacting with others, during the performance of an occupation (Forsyth et al., 1998, p9).  Over a twelve week period, a student occupational therapist, a Band 5 and a Band 6 clinician completed the Assessment of Communication and Interaction Skills (ACIS), each with four different service users, to assess the domains of physicality, information exchange and relations (Forsyth et al., 1998, p9). A reflection, using Gibbs’ (1998) Reflective Cycle, focussed upon using the tool, was written after completing each assessment. A narrative approach was employed to identify common themes raised by the therapists. This study adds to the limited evidence base upon which to ground forensic practice. It will enlighten clinicians at all levels about the potential, difficulties and shortcomings of using this assessment to review the progress, or deterioration, of the communication and interactions skills of complex individuals influenced by a rigid environment.  

References: Cronin-Davis, J., Lang, A. and Molineux, M. (2004). Occupational science: The forensic challenge. In: M. Molineux (Ed.), Occupation for occupational therapists, (pp. 169–179). Oxford: Blackwell Publishing Ltd. 

Dressler, J. & Snively, F. (1998). Occupational therapy in the criminal justice system. In: C. Cara & A. MacRae (Eds.), Psychosocial occupational therapy, a clinical practice, (pp. 527–552). Albany: Delmar Publishers. 

Forsyth, K., Salamy, M., Simon, S. and Kielhofner, G. (1998). A User’s Guide to The Assessment of Communication and Interaction Skills (ACIS). UIC: University of Illinois at Chicago. Gibb, G. (1998). Learning by Doing: A Guide to Teaching and Learning. London: FEU.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 13 Jun 2013
EventCollege of Occupational Therapists Annual Conference 2013 - Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre, Glasgow
Duration: 13 Jun 2013 → …

Conference

ConferenceCollege of Occupational Therapists Annual Conference 2013
CityGlasgow
Period13/06/13 → …

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