The Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability (VdTMoCA)
Position Statement from V&MdTF 2015
This uniquely South African Model was developed from the thinking and research by a pioneer Occupational therapist, Vona du Toit during the 1960’s to the 70’s as the then Head of the Pretoria College of Occupational Therapy; on her untimely death in 1974, the task of further development and practical application was taken up by her followers.
As Vona and other contributors to the foundational constructs and development of the theory underpinning the VdTMoCA were employed by the College ( Dept of Health) at the time of those ‘developmental’ years , the Intellectual Property legally resides within the OT dept of University of Pretoria. The Up Dept of OT works very closely with as is represented in the Vona and Marie du Toit Foundation (V&MdTF) a legally constituted body responsible for the development and guardianship of the Vona du Toit Model of Creative Ability (VdTMoCA ).
All information about the Model and its origins are contained in archives, in- house and journal publications, research projects, conference presentations and teaching material. The V&MdTF has to date collected and reproduced the vast majority of relevant material in electronic format – to serve as record and reference material for future research. A textbook on the VdTMoCA is currently being prepared as Priority project of the V&MdTF. The paper published in the UP Space is a sample of the writing of Vona du Toit, which gives a brief overview of her thinking.
The VdTMoCA acknowledged as a Practice Model and is currently taught at the majority of the Universities which offer training for Occupational Therapists in the RSA, ongoing training is offered through CPD activities and at least an annual, 1 day symposium/conference on the Model is presented. Ongoing training in the VdTMoCA is furthermore offered at various levels in the UK.
The VdTMoCA has been widely used by occupational therapists throughout South Africa for the past 45 years and is applied in OT practice by vast numbers of OT’s, OT Assistants and OT technicians, and has in recent years also become a professional practice Model of significance in the United Kingdom and Japan.
This Model is receiving progressively more ‘academic’ attention amongst members of the profession, with a significant increase noted in research undertaken on /with reference to the VdTMoCA over the past 12 years both here and abroad. The VdTMoCA is currently the topic of at least 5 PhD studies.
The VdTMoCA is of relevance to occupational therapy practice and service provision at all levels of health care and human endeavour. It is culture friendly and applicable in many fields of practice such as education, health, and social welfare and labour.
The VdTMoCA is user friendly and applicable to individuals, groups and populations, this practice model guides the assessment and treatment/intervention for those in need of occupational therapy services. Its applicability to ‘wellness’ and community settings currently a topic of robust debate . It has the potential to provide meaningful intervention on a continuum, ranging, for example, from persons with acute/long-term mental health care needs/acute traumatic injuries and disability to persons functioning at the higher levels of community participation and contribution.
The VdTMoCA is essentially a developmental Model, which defines the centrality of action and motivation and indicates the interrelatedness between such motivation and action (activity participation); it which has defined philosophical and theoretical underpinnings and describes nine sequential and interrelated levels of activity participation which reflect typically developing occupational performance behaviours. Using these levels, occupational function and dysfunction are accordingly described, with the strength and directedness of volition comprising an integral component of such description.
The rationale, aims, principles of intervention for activity selection, structuring of the situation, the therapeutic relationship with the client and presentation of activity as well as grading principles are described and explained, facilitating effective intervention planning and implementation, whilst allowing for a client centered approach.