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100 Most Influential OT Research Articles

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  • Post date --> January 4, 2024
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Learn how we review the most influential occupational therapy research. And, see our 2024 list of the most influential OT-related journal articles.

OT research articles reviewed in the ot potential club

How OT Potential helps you keep up with new research

Approximately 1,000 research articles containing OT are published EACH YEAR. That means roughly 5,000 articles have come out over the past five years!

As busy clinicians, we obviously don’t have time to keep up on all of the evidence. But, we do owe it to our patients to stay on top of the most influential research. 

In our membership community, The OT Potential Club , we find and review the most influential research for you. In our two week rotation, we first share a written review of the research and give you space to discuss it. Then the follow week, we release an episode of the OT Potential Podcast , where we invite an expert guest to help us pull out actionable takeaways. These episodes are AOTA approved courses.

See the process in the video below. You can also sign up for a free trial to see our platform !

See sample journal article reviews and take 2 free CEU courses Sign up for our OT Potential Club free 5-day trial.

How we select OT research to review

Each year to determine the most influential research for us to review we generated a list the 100 most influential OT-related journal articles from the past 5 yeras.

We team up with a research librarian to make this happen. 

For our 2024 list, we searched the Scopus database for articles published from 2019-2023 that had “ occupational therapy ” included in either the title, abstract, or keywords. (By the way, Elsevier’s Scopus is the largest abstract and citation database of peer-reviewed literature.) Then, we ranked the list by the number of times the articles had been cited in other journal articles.

The articles with green check marks have already been discussed in the OT Potential Club , and we will continue to work through this list throughout 2024.

To see research we’ve reviewed from past years’ lists check our article, research in the OT Potential Club .

The 100 most cited OT articles from the past five years

✅ = already reviewed in the ot potential club and featured as ceu course on the ot potential podcast.

  • Listen to the podcast: Parkinson Disease Evidence Review with Brandy Archie
  • Listen to the podcast: Cerebral Palsy and OT Evidence with Iona Novak
  • Listen to the podcast: Rheumatoid Arthritis and OT with Cheryl Crow
  • Listen to the podcast: OT and Psoriatic Arthritis with Duana Russell-Thomas
  • Spinocerebellar ataxia (2019) Nature Reviews Disease Primers
  • Considering the potential for an increase in chronic pain after the COVID-19 pandemic (2020) Pain
  •   Occupational Therapy Practice Framework: Domain and Process-Fourth Edition (2020) American Journal of Occupational Therapy
  •   American College of Rheumatology/Arthritis Foundation Guideline for the Treatment of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (2019) Arthritis Care and Research
  • Outpatient Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy Synchronous Telemedicine; A Survey Study of Patient Satisfaction with Virtual Visits during the COVID-19 Pandemic (2020) American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Secondary Fracture Prevention: Consensus Clinical Recommendations from a Multistakeholder Coalition (2020) Journal of Bone and Mineral Research
  • Long-Term Effects of Breast Cancer Surgery, Treatment, and Survivor Care (2019) Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health
  • Cerebral palsy in children: A clinical overview (2020) Translational Pediatrics
  • Listen to the podcast: Depression in Neurodegenerative Diseases with Rachel Wiley
  • Listen to the podcast: Pediatric OT Evidence Review with Michelle DeJesus
  • Pediatric Teleheath: Opportunities Created by the COVID-19 and Suggestions to Sustain Its Use to Support Families of Children with Disabilities (2021) Physical and Occupational Therapy in Pediatrics
  • Listen to the podcast: Virtual Reality and OT with Christopher Gaskins
  • Benefits of pulmonary rehabilitation in covid-19 – a prospective observational cohort study (2021) ERJ Open Res
  • Emerging health challenges for children with physical disabilities and their parents during the COVID-19 pandemic: The ECHO French survey (2021) Annals of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine
  • Cerebral palsy: An overview (2020) American Family Physician
  • Complex regional pain syndrome: a narrative review for the practising clinician (2019) British Journal of Anaesthesia
  • Social Isolation – The Other COVID-19 Threat in Nursing Homes (2020) JAMA – Journal of the American Medical Association
  • Listen to the podcast: CIMT and OT with Catherine Hoyt
  • Assessment of Emergency Department and Inpatient Use and Costs in Adult and Pediatric Functional Neurological Disorders (2021) JAMA Neurology
  • Canadian guideline for Parkinson disease (2019) CMAJ
  • A systematic review of ayres sensory integration intervention for children with autism (2019) Autism Research
  • Professional identity: A concept analysis (2020) Nursing Forum
  • Sepsis-associated encephalopathy and septic encephalitis (2021) Expert Review of Anti-Infective Therapy
  • Diagnosis and management of functional neurological disorder (2022) BMJ
  • Listen to the podcast: OT for Spasticity in Adults with Scott Thompson
  • Elements virtual rehabilitation improves motor, cognitive, and functional outcomes in adult stroke (2019) Journal of NeuroEngineering and Rehabilitation
  • Clinical Neurorestorative Therapeutic Guidelines for Spinal Cord Injury (2020) Journal of Orthopaedic Translation
  • Immersive Virtual Reality Mirror Therapy for Upper Limb Recovery after Stroke: A Pilot Study (2019) American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Best-evidence for the rehabilitation of chronic pain part 1: Pediatric pain (2019) Journal of Clinical Medicine
  • Developmental delay: Identification and management at primary care level (2019) Singapore Medical Journal
  • Occupational therapy consensus recommendations for functional neurological disorder (2020) Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
  • One year in review 2019: Systemic sclerosis (2019) Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology
  • Personalized medicine for patients with COPD: Where are we? (2019) International Journal of COPD
  • Association of Geriatric Comanagement and 90-Day Postoperative Mortality among Patients Aged 75 Years and Older with Cancer (2020) JAMA Network Open
  • Immersive Virtual Reality for the Management of Pain in Community-Dwelling Older Adults (2019) OTJR Occupation, Participation and Health
  • Nonpharmacological Interventions to Improve Depression, Anxiety, and Quality of Life (QoL) in People With Dementia (2020) Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry and Neurology
  • Occupational therapy for people with dementia and their family carers provided at home (2019) BMJ Open
  • Decade of progress in motor functional neurological disorder: Continuing the momentum (2021) Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry
  • Management of Osteogenesis Imperfecta (2020) Frontiers in Endocrinology
  • Multiple sclerosis management during the COVID-19 pandemic (2020) Multiple Sclerosis Journal
  • Parent perspectives of an occupational therapy telehealth intervention (2019) International Journal of Telerehabilitation
  • Breast cancer in adolescent and young adult women under the age of 40 years (2021) JCO oncology practice
  • Effects of telerehabilitation in occupational therapy practice: A systematic review (2019) Hong Kong Journal of Occupational Therapy
  • Awareness and current knowledge of Parkinson’s disease: a neurodegenerative disorder (2019) International Journal of Neuroscience
  • Cognitive reserve and age predict cognitive recovery after mild to severe traumatic brain injury (2019) Journal of Neurotrauma
  • Cognitive training for people with mild to moderate dementia (2019) Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews
  • Physical Rehabilitation in Critically Ill Children: A Multicenter Point Prevalence Study in the United States (2020) Critical Care Medicine
  • Quality of life and its related factors for adults with autism spectrum disorder (2019) Disability and Rehabilitation
  • Extracorporeal Membrane Oxygenation Is a Team Sport: Institutional Survival Benefits of a Formalized ECMO Team (2019) Journal of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Anesthesia
  • Motor learning in neurological rehabilitation (2021) Disability and rehabilitation
  • Guidelines on the diagnosis and management of the progressive ataxias (2019) Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases
  • Construct validity, test-retest reliability, and the ability to detect change of the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure in a spinal cord injury population (2019) Spinal cord series and cases
  • Telerehabilitation During the COVID-19 Pandemic in Outpatient Rehabilitation Settings (2021) Physical Therapy
  • Loss in services precedes high school exit for teens with autism spectrum disorder (2019) Autism Research
  • Construct validity of a revised version of the Occupational Balance Questionnaire (2020) Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy
  • Telehealth for the provision of occupational therapy: Reflections on experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic (2020) International Journal of Telerehabilitation
  • Treatment patterns in children with autism in the United States (2019) Autism Research
  • Stroke self-management and the role of self-efficacy (2021) Disability and rehabilitation
  • Occupational therapy in the promotion of health and well-being (2020) The American Journal of Occupational Therapy
  • Toward a theory-based specification of non-pharmacological treatments in aging and dementia (2020) Alzheimer’s & Dementia
  • Efficacy of Virtual Reality Combined With Real Instrument Training for Patients With Stroke: A Randomized Controlled Trial (2019) Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
  • Relationships between job satisfaction, burnout, professional identity and meaningfulness of work activities for occupational therapists working in mental health (2019) Australian Occupational Therapy Journal
  • Potential benefits of music playing in stroke upper limb motor rehabilitation (2020) Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
  • Evaluation of pelvis postural systems in spinal cord injury patients: Outcome research (2020) Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine
  • A review of interprofessional training wards: Enhancing student learning and patient outcomes (2019) Medical Teacher
  • Effects of virtual reality-based planar motion exercises on upper extremity function, range of motion, and health-related quality of life (2019) Journal of neuroengineering and rehabilitation
  • What is the threshold dose of upper limb training for children with cerebral palsy to improve function? A systematic review (2020) Australian occupational therapy journal
  • Listen to the podcast: OT, Plagiocephaly, and Cognitive Outcomes with Amirra Condelee
  • COVID-19 and Cerebrovascular Diseases: A Systematic Review and Perspectives for Stroke Management (2020) Frontiers in Neurology
  • The use of augmented reality for rehabilitation after stroke: a narrative review (2020) Disability and rehabilitation. Assistive technology
  • Listen to the podcast: Pain and OT with Irvin Eisenberg
  • Flexor tendon rehabilitation in the 21st century: A systematic review (2019) Journal of Hand Therapy
  • An intervention to reduce neuropsychiatric symptoms and caregiver burden in dementia: Preliminary results from a randomized trial of the tailored activity program–outpatient version (2019) International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry
  • Pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapeutic strategies in difficult-to-treat rheumatoid arthritis: A systematic literature review informing the EULAR recommendations for the management of difficult-to-treat rheumatoid arthritis (2021) RMD open
  • Patient satisfaction with telehealth in rural settings: A systematic review (2020) International journal of telerehabilitation
  • Physical, occupational, and speech therapy for children with cerebral palsy (2020) Developmental medicine and child neurology
  • Enhanced recovery after surgery trends in adult spine surgery: A systematic review (2020) International journal of spine surgery
  • Impact of Sarcopenia on Adverse Outcomes after Allogeneic Hematopoietic Cell Transplantation (2019) Journal of the National Cancer Institute
  • Optimal Terminology for Services in the United States That Incorporate Horses to Benefit People: A Consensus Document (2021) Journal of alternative and complementary medicine
  • Improving the quality of life of people with advanced respiratory disease and severe breathlessness (2019) Breathe
  • Comparative efficacy of interventions for reducing symptoms of depression in people with dementia: Systematic review and network meta-analysis (2021) BMJ (Clinical research ed.)
  • Listen to the podcast: OT & Smart Home Tech Adoption with Carol Chiang
  • Contributing to social transformation through occupation: Experiences from a think tank (2019) Journal of Occupational Science
  • Moving from cultural competence to cultural humility in occupational therapy: A paradigm shift (2020) The American journal of occupational therapy
  • Virtual reality in neurorehabilitation: An umbrella review of meta-analyses (2021) Journal of clinical medicine
  • Recommendations for the Nonpharmacological Treatment of Apathy in Brain Disorders (2020) The American journal of geriatric psychiatry
  • Evidence-based practice implementation in stroke rehabilitation: A scoping review of barriers and facilitators (2020) The American journal of occupational therapy
  • Treatment of neuropathic pain after peripheral nerve and brachial plexus traumatic injury (2019) Neurology India
  • Cultural competency and the reproduction of White supremacy in occupational therapy education (2020) Health Education Journal
  • Rural-urban disparities in health care costs and health service utilization following pediatric mild traumatic brain injury (2019) Health services research
  • Complex Regional Pain Syndrome: Practical Diagnostic and Treatment Guidelines, 5th Edition (2022) Pain medicine
  • Interventions to improve upper limb function for children with bilateral cerebral palsy: a systematic review (2019) Developmental medicine and child neurology
  • Re-imagining occupational therapy clients as communities: Presenting the community-centred practice framework (2019) Scandinavian journal of occupational therapy
  • Occupational therapy, everyday life and the fabric of life: Theoretical-conceptual contributions for the construction of critical and emancipatory perspectives (2020) Cadernos Brasileiros de Terapia Ocupacional
  • Hyperphosphatemic Tumoral Calcinosis: Pathogenesis, Clinical Presentation, and Challenges in Management (2020) Frontiers in Endocrinology
  • Early versus delayed mobilization for in-hospital mortality and health-related quality of life among critically ill patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis (2019) Journal of intensive care

Need help accessing these articles?

As you can see, each of the articles in our list is hyperlinked for your convenience—and I’m always surprised by how many research articles are free! However, if you find one that is not free, you can also see if it’s available via your AOTA membership in AJOT or via ProQuest with your NBCOT membership. You can read more about these options in our blog post on where to find OT research .

All that being said, some articles you may simply have to purchase. 

Resources derived from our OT research list

As we spend time exploring this research, we’ll continue to systematically pull information that is helpful for OTs. Check out these other blog posts, which incorporate information we find in our research:

  • Helpful List of OT Journals
  • List of OT Assessments
  • OT Documentation

We hope this list fills you with excitement for occupational therapy—and the research that is driving it. And, we hope you consider joining us in our favorite corner of the internet…the OT Potential Club . 🙂

13 replies on “100 Most Influential OT Research Articles”

Thanks for taking the time to research and share these articles, I live by and truly believe that Team Work Makes a Dream Work! I look forward to our club and please count me in 🙂 One way that I would keep up with the latest and greatest was having mini lunch time discussions with my therapy pals. We would switch off who was responsible to bring in an article and share what we learned but most importantly how we can apply it. I think if more DOR could get behind these groups this would make big impacts in our daily practices. Look forward to your next blog! Aloha <3

Hey Monica!!

I am so excited to hangout with you in the OT Potential Club, and talk about ways to apply new research! I agree that lunch time journal clubs are such a great tool for departments. Hopefully the OT Potential Club will make preparing content for these even easier!

Thank you so much for all your support! (And please send some of your warm weather to those of us in the Midwest!)

As a future OT student, I’m curious if you have any insight into the following question. As I read about advancements in childhood development research, it strikes me that OT’s are often not included in these discussions. For instance, I went to a Brookings Institution panel on "A prescription for play" ( https://www.brookings.edu/blog/education-plus-development/2018/08/21/a-prescription-for-play/ ) and it would have been great to have an OT on the panel since they work "on the ground" with children. As neuroscience continues to break ground on new issues related to childhood development (i.e. the brain and trauma), why aren’t OT’s being included in these discussions? Is it because they are considered practitioners and not researchers?

Hi Laura, You’ve stumbled onto a huge problem here, and it isn’t specific to OT. One often cited study showed that it takes about 17 YEARS for new medical knowledge to be adopted into practice (and even then only a fraction of best practices actually get adopted.) There is clearly a disconnect between academia and practitioners on the ground. To solve the complex challenges of today and the future, we certainly need new tools and bridge builders to help us shorten this gap!

Thanks – this is helpful to know. And I’m glad it’s just a problem with OT, because it had me wondering what the issue was.

*it’s not just

Hi Laura. As Sarah stated, you’ve stumbled upon a huge problem, that I think IS specific to occupational therapy. The medical and research communities (and general community for that matter) remain under-educated about the existence and value of the occupational therapy profession. We very rarely have a seat at the table, as you recognized. Occupational therapy, though being around for over 100 years, continues to be quite insulated. Although this is changing! In my opinion, AOTA has never done an excellent job of marketing us OUTSIDE the occupational therapy community, and thus hasn’t had the skillset to teach us how to market ourselves. This is a challenge I continue to struggle with but am working solidly towards addressing.

A few strategies I use are to always identify myself as an "occupational therapist," instead of an "OT" and I work in the field of "occupational therapy". I also don’t refer to PT in my definition of what occupational therapy is. A third way I do this is to have an elevator pitch of what occupational therapy is ready at all times.

Hope this helps answer your question 🙂

Love, love, love this post and the list!! Ever an inspiration, Sarah!

Ahhh! Thank you! I am consistently inspired by the OT community and can’t wait to hang out with OT practitioners in the OT Potential Club!

I wish there were more exert articles about OT in Mental Health, such a great need for mental health supports now-a-days!

It’s awesome.. Am amazed. I was able to conduct my research problem.

Oh wow! I’m so glad to hear that! What was your research problem?

Thanks for sharing these articles, they are so useful. 🙂

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Your first source for research to support evidence-based occupational therapy practice.

Stacey Reynolds, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Editor-in-Chief

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  • March 2024: Recovery of Function After Acquired Neurological Injury
  • January 2024: Preparing for and Responding to the Current Mental Health Tsunami: Embracing Mary Reilly’s Call to Action
  • December 2023: A Call to Shift to Competency-Based Education
  • November 2023: Leadership Development of Women of Color in Occupational Therapy
  • October 2023: Implementing Parent Coaching in Hospital-Based Pediatric Occupational Therapy
  • September 2023: Going Beyond Management and Maintenance: Occupational Therapy’s Role in Primary Prevention for Adults at Risk of Obesity
  • August 2023:   Examining Patient Outcomes at a Faculty-Led Clinic for Uninsured and Underserved Clients
  • July 2023:  The Need for Occupational Therapist Eligibility for Formal Administrative Roles in Public School Systems
  • June 2023:  Early Spontaneous Movements and Sensory Processing in Preterm Infants
  • May 2023:  Let’s Talk About It: Addressing Microaggressions in Occupational Therapy Education
  • April 2023: Ayres Sensory Integration ® for Addressing Play in Autistic Children: A Multiple-Baseline Examination

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Effectiveness of Occupational Therapy Services in Mental Health Practice

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Margaret Swarbrick , Susan Noyes; Effectiveness of Occupational Therapy Services in Mental Health Practice. Am J Occup Ther September/October 2018, Vol. 72(5), 7205170010p1–7205170010p4. doi: https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2018.725001

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National behavioral health care efforts have opened opportunities to reignite occupational therapy mental health practice and research. The profession’s person-centered and occupation-based practice fits well with the growing needs of people with serious mental illness (SMI) served in community-based settings. The nine articles in this special issue provide a growing body of evidence to support the effectiveness of occupational therapy interventions for adults with SMI to enhance health management skills and promote independence in living a balanced and satisfying life. However, much more high-level research is required to explicitly investigate the contributions of occupational therapy in all areas of occupation for adults with SMI and to broaden the available evidence base to inform occupational therapy practice.

This issue of the American Journal of Occupational Therapy ( AJOT ) comes at a pivotal time in society. Occupational therapy practice in mental health is gaining significant momentum. National association and state-level advocacy efforts, federal and state initiatives, and population health trends provide new opportunities to expand the occupational therapy mental health practice and research agenda.

From a population health perspective, the needs of people with serious mental illness (SMI) are growing and complex; about 1 in 25 adults has an SMI in a given year. People who are diagnosed with schizophrenia, bipolar illness, and major depressive disorder—the most common SMI diagnoses—can benefit from effective occupational therapy interventions that enhance occupational functioning and participation. In 2015, 4% of U.S. adults age 18 or older (an estimated 9.8 million adults) had an SMI in the past year ( Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality [CBHSQ], 2017 ). Women accounted for 64.5% of adults with SMI ( CBHSQ, 2017 ). The prevalence rate also varied across age groups, with a higher rate—5.0%—in the age groups between 18 and 44 and 4% in the 45–64 age group.

Adults living with SMI often have multiple disorders. These disorders frequently accompany one another, along with a substantial number of general medical illnesses such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and neurological illnesses. Mental, substance use, and general health problems and illnesses are frequently intertwined, and coordination of all these types of health care is essential.

  • National Behavioral Health Care Initiatives

In 2016, a federal commission was created to address the needs of adults with SMI and children with serious emotional disturbance (SED) and their families. The 21st Century Cures Act (Pub. L. 114-225) provided the authority for establishing the Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (ISMICC; 2017) , which aims to enhance coordination across federal agencies to improve service access and delivery of care for people with SMI or SED. The ISMICC is charged to

Report on advances in research on people with SMI and SED related to prevention, diagnosis, intervention, treatment and recovery, and access to services and supports;

Evaluate the effect of federal programs related to people with SMI and SED on public health, including outcomes across several important dimensions; and

Make specific recommendations for actions that federal departments can take to better coordinate the administration of mental health services for adults with SMI and children with SED.

This federal interdepartmental leadership seeks collaboration and shared accountability of all federal agencies, in partnership with all levels of government and other stakeholders, to create a mental health system that addresses the needs and desires of all individuals living with SMI or SED and their families. The goal is to effectively support these individuals and families to achieve healthy lives characterized by pride, self-worth, hope, dignity, and meaning.

National and state occupational therapy associations have been involved in advocacy on the federal level supporting the expansion of occupational therapy in community behavioral health care settings, now known as Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics (CCBHCs). As an innovative model of behavioral health care, CCBHCs are required to provide coordinated, integrated care that is person centered and recovery oriented and to integrate physical and behavioral health care ( Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, 2015 ). Although not identified as required staff in CCBHCs, licensed occupational therapy practitioners can provide expertise to clients served in CCBHCs by identifying barriers to wellness and recovery such as cognitive impairments; sensory needs; and difficulties with activities of daily living (ADLs), instrumental activities of daily living (IADLs), and social interactions.

  • Articles in This Special Issue

Occupational therapy practitioners contribute to evaluation and treatment of adults with SMI by

Identifying individual strengths, goals, skills, and other factors important for wellness and recovery planning;

Performing psychosocial evaluations that include housing, vocational, and educational status as well as social support networks and community participation;

Helping clients develop day-to-day independent living skills and improve their functional capacity;

Teaching compensatory strategies that mitigate the impact of the illness and reduce symptoms through engagement in healthy roles and routines; and

Promoting health and wellness through the use of everyday activities.

Occupational therapy practitioners use a wellness and recovery-oriented approach because it is congruent with the profession’s person-centered and occupation-based practice, engages clients in their health management, and promotes independence in living a balanced and satisfying life. The nine articles in this special issue offer evidence supporting the effectiveness of occupational therapy interventions for adults with SMI in all of these areas.

Read and colleagues (2018) present a systematic review that demonstrates how occupational therapy practitioners can uniquely add to early intervention teams with their strong focus on function through occupational engagement. Citing research that demonstrates that specific interventions in the earliest stages of SMI can offset cognitive impairments and improve functioning and social relationships, these authors found that effective evidence-based practices for occupational therapy interventions with this population include cognitive remediation (CR), cognitive–behavioral therapy (CBT), supported employment and supported education, and family psychoeducation. Moderate to strong evidence supports CR, and mixed evidence supports CBT to improve general functioning. It is a victory for clients and advances both occupational therapy and public health practice when early intervention and prevention of disability are the focus of collaboration with people experiencing early signs and symptoms of SMI.

Trauma-informed practice is essential in today’s society. Occupational therapy practitioners frequently work with children who experience victimization and its physical and mental health sequelae. Berg et al. (2018) examined the mental health impacts of participation for youth with disabilities (YWD) in the child welfare system. They conclude that occupational therapy can play an important role in increasing opportunities for engagement in activities that may enhance the mental health of these vulnerable youth. Participation in meaningful activities can improve both overall health and transition to independence for this population. Occupational therapy practitioners can apply their specialized skills in task analysis and environmental modification to optimize participation in meaningful activities for victimized YWD, thereby facilitating social inclusion and resilience.

Obesity is a major challenge for many people with SMI. Brown and coworkers (2018) present a systematic review of weight loss interventions for people with SMI delivered in community settings. They found that people with SMI can lose weight with targeted interventions; however, more research is needed to determine the most effective approaches for weight loss and the amount of time needed to achieve weight loss goals. Given the high rate of medical comorbidity in this population, greater involvement by occupational therapy practitioners would support the development of weight loss interventions that address the cognitive impairments common in this population and strategies to develop and sustain healthy routines. Occupational therapy practitioners can play an important role in designing and delivering weight loss interventions to address the wellness needs of people with SMI.

Obesity is not a problem only for people with SMI, of course. Barclay and Forwell (2018) describe how occupational therapy practitioners in bariatric surgery programs used the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM) as part of their preoperative and postoperative evaluation process. Using the COPM, practitioners revealed a high prevalence of cognitive and affective issues related to exercise and eating behavior. The study illustrates that there is more to consider among people seeking bariatric surgery than body mass index and points to the potential of occupational therapy as a means of improving self-esteem, encouraging self-care, and promoting healthy behaviors through engagement in meaningful activities. COPM data can be used to grade occupation-based interventions aimed at improving self-esteem and encouraging people to adopt healthy eating behaviors and exercise. The long-term effects of these interventions can facilitate and support overall functioning, mental and physical health, and social well-being.

As a means to develop meaningful community participation and assume new roles, adults with SMI consistently identify a desire to work or go to school. With expertise in identifying clients’ strengths and goals and addressing their challenges, occupational therapy practitioners are well positioned to collaborate with adults with SMI and support their engagement in education and employment. In a systematic review of current research, Noyes et al. (2018) found strong evidence for interventions that could be provided by occupational therapy practitioners to address employment, including those based on the Individual Placement and Support model, along with several forms of cognitive remediation and social skills training. Either individually or in combination, these forms of intervention were shown to have several positive outcomes for participants, including significantly increased competitive employment rates, longer job retention, and improved quality of life.

Similar positive results were demonstrated by Lee et al. (2018) , who report on their study of an innovative employment program in which occupational therapy practitioners served as both team leaders and integral staff members. Noyes et al. (2018) noted that far less available evidence addresses ways to support adults with SMI to start or return to school. Successful participation in occupational therapy–supported education programs was correlated with adhering to a medication routine, having a stable residence, and being motivated to attend the program consistently—all areas that can be supported by occupational therapy intervention in CCBHCs and numerous other care settings.

Addressing performance of ADLs and IADLs in adults with SMI has always been the purview of occupational therapy. Effective performance and maintenance of these skills provide a necessary foundation for health, wellness, and successful community participation. In this issue, D’Amico and colleagues (2018) update the evidence on this topic in a systematic review presenting evidence for interventions to improve and maintain performance and participation in ADLs, IADLs, social participation, leisure, and rest and sleep for people with SMI. Five themes for intervention in these areas were identified: occupation-based interventions, psychoeducation, skills training, cognitive-based interventions, and technology-supported interventions. Strong evidence was found for occupation-based interventions based on individualized, client-centered goals; several manualized programs using psychoeducation methods to support participants in the areas of illness and medication management, living skills, and psychosocial function; and cognitive-based interventions to improve and maintain performance in rest and sleep. Notably, this systematic review identified a significant increase in studies of occupation-based interventions and outcome measures as well as studies of programs implemented by occupational therapy practitioners since the last systematic review of this topic sponsored by the American Occupational Therapy Association ( Gibson et al., 2011 ).

Also addressing IADL performance, Huang et al. (2018) studied the Lawton Instrumental Activities of Daily Living Scale to determine whether change scores on this assessment represent true change in skill for clients with schizophrenia. They conclude that the test–retest reliability of the instrument was acceptable, adding another tool to the repertoire used by occupational therapy practitioners to evaluate performance in this area.

Finally, the Brief Report in this issue describes a pilot study using African drumming as an intervention for adults with mood disorders. Plastow et al. (2018) report on this unique sensorimotor intervention delivered by occupational therapy practitioners that resulted in immediate improvement in mood and experiences of enjoyment for participants. This study provides but one example of the creative possibilities for promoting health, wellness, and quality of life through the use of everyday activities as intervention by occupational therapy practitioners.

This special issue of AJOT focuses on current evidence for interventions for adults with SMI that can be used by occupational therapy practitioners in mental health practice. Although more research has been conducted recently in areas such as occupation-based intervention for ADLs and IADLs, more high-level research conducted by occupational therapy practitioners is required to explicitly investigate the contributions of occupational therapy in all areas of occupation for adults with SMI and to broaden the available evidence base to inform occupational therapy practice. This evidence could then be used to clearly delineate the crucial role of occupational therapy in facilitating occupational participation for adults with SMI in a variety of care settings, including newly established CCBHCs.

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Margaret Swarbrick, PhD, OT, FAOTA

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Research-based occupational therapy education: An exploration of students’ and faculty members’ experiences and perceptions

Kjersti velde helgøy.

1 Center of Diakonia and Professional Practice, VID Specialized University, Stavanger, Norway

Jens-Christian Smeby

2 Centre for the Study of Professions, OsloMet – Oslo Metropolitan University, Oslo, Norway

Tore Bonsaksen

3 Department of Health and Nursing Science, Faculty of Social and Health Sciences, Inland Norway University of Applied Science, Elverum, Norway

4 Faculty of Health Studies, VID Specialized University, Sandnes, Norway

Nina Rydland Olsen

5 Department of Health and Functioning, Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, Western Norway University of Applied Sciences, Bergen, Norway

Associated Data

In accordance with restrictions imposed by the Norwegian Data Protection Services (NSD) with ID number 8453764, data must be stored on a secure server at VID Specialized University. The contents of the etics committe`s approval resolution as well as the wording of participants` written consent do not render public data access possible. Access to the study`s minimal and depersonalized data set may be requested by contacting the project manager, KVH, email: [email protected] or the institution: on.div@tsop .

Introduction

One argument for introducing research in bachelor`s degree in health care is to ensure the quality of future health care delivery. The requirements for research-based education have increased, and research on how research-based education is experienced is limited, especially in bachelor health care education programmes. The aim of this study was to explore how occupational therapy students and faculty members experienced and perceived research-based education.

This qualitative, interpretative description consisted of three focus group interviews with occupational therapy students in their final year (n = 8, 6 and 4), and three focus group interviews with faculty members affiliated with occupational therapy programmes in Norway (n = 5, 2 and 5). Interviewing both students and faculty members enabled us to explore the differences in their experiences and perceptions.

Five integrative themes emerged from the analysis: “introducing research early”, “setting higher expectations”, “ensuring competence in research methods”, “having role models” and “providing future best practice”. Research was described as an important aspect of the occupational therapy bachelor program as it helps ensure that students achieve the necessary competence for offering future best practice. Students expressed a need to be introduced to research early in the program, and they preferred to have higher expectations regarding use of research. Competence in research methods and the importance of role models were also highlighted.

Conclusions

Undergraduate health care students are expected to be competent in using research. Findings from our study demonstrated that the participants perceived the use of research during training as important to ensure future best practice. Increasing the focus on research in the programme’s curricula and efforts to improve students’ formal training in research-specific skills could be a starting point towards increased use of research in the occupational therapy profession.

Occupational therapists have positive attitudes towards research, but implement research evidence infrequently within their daily practice [ 1 ]. Professional education is believed to play an important role in the development of positive attitudes towards evidence-based practice (EBP) skills [ 2 , 3 ]. One approach to improving evidence-based practice uptake in clinical practice is through the integration of research in education [ 4 , 5 ]. Developing student’s research skills is an important aspect of EBP [ 6 ] and participation in a research course has been found to improve nursing student’s attitudes towards research [ 7 ]. The World Federation of Occupational Therapists recommends an occupation-focused curriculum that includes critical thinking, problem-solving, EBP, research and life-long learning [ 8 , p. 6]. As such, educators in occupational therapy are advised to engage in research [ 8 , p. 53].

Several studies have explored how to link research and teaching in higher education [ 9 – 20 ]. Based on previous research [ 9 , 10 , 15 – 20 ], Huet developed a research-based education model that distinguishes between research-led teaching and research-based teaching [ 14 ]. Research-led teaching means that academics use their expertise as active researchers or use the research of others to inform their teaching. Research-based teaching means that students develop research skills by being involved in research or other inquiry-based activities. Research-led teaching and research-based teaching is interconnected, and research and teaching should be seen as interlinked [ 14 ]. One strategy for linking research and teaching is to bring research into the classroom, e.g. through academics presenting their research relevant to the subject and discussing research outcomes and methods with students [ 14 ]. In a research-based learning environment, students learn how to become critical thinkers, lifelong learners and to generate discipline-enriching knowledge [ 14 ].

Research-based education has mainly been emphasized in disciplinary university education [ 21 ]. In medical education, students’ knowledge, perceptions and attitudes towards research have been examined in several studies [ 22 – 25 ]. In their review, Chang and Ramnanan [ 22 ] found that medical students had positive attitudes towards research. Similar results emerged in Paudel et al.`s cross-sectional study [ 24 ]. Kandell and Vereijken et al. [ 25 ] found that first-year students believed that research would be important to keeping up to date in their future clinical practice.

Less research has been carried out on research-based education in bachelor’s programmes in health care, but the requirements for research-based education have also increased in these programmes [ 21 , p. 11]. Some studies have, however, investigated the attitudes, skills and use of research among nursing students [ 4 , 7 , 26 ]. In their literature reviews, Ross [ 7 ] found that nursing students have positive attitudes towards research and Ryan [ 26 ] found that nursing students are generally positive towards the use of research. Ross [ 7 ] noted that participation in research courses and research-related activity improved students’ attitudes towards nursing research. Leach et al. [ 4 ] have argued that undergraduate research education has an impact on nursing students’ research skills and use of EBP.

Students in occupational therapy and physiotherapy have been found to share positive attitudes towards research [ 27 ]. Similarly, studies have found positive attitudes towards EBP among occupational therapy students [ 28 – 31 ]. Stronge and Cahill [ 29 ] found that students were willing to practice EBP, but a lack of time and clinical instructors not practising EBP were perceived as barriers. Stube and Jedlicka [ 28 ] and Jackson [ 30 ] highlighted the importance of learning EBP through fieldwork experiences. DeCleene Huber et al. [ 31 ] found that students were least confident in EBP skills that involved using statistical procedures and statistical tests to interpret study results. These studies focused mainly on students’ attitudes and competence in EBP and research utilization (RU), and other elements of research-based education, such as student’s exposure to and engagement with research evidence were not investigated.

Few studies have explored faculty members’ perceptions of research in undergraduate education. Wilson et al. [ 32 ] found that the way in which university teachers in university disciplines translate research into learning experiences depends on their own personal perception of research. Some academics have highlighted that disciplinary content must be learned before engaging in research [ 32 ]. This idea is in accordance with the findings of Brew and Mantai [ 33 ], who also found variations in the way in which academics conceptualized undergraduate research. Experiences, attitudes and barriers towards research have been examined among the junior faculty of a medical university, and findings indicate that fewer than half of the participants in the study were involved in research at the time [ 34 ]. Ibn Auf et al. [ 35 ] found that the factors significantly influencing positive perceptions of research experience among the faculty at medical programmes were being male, having had education in research during undergraduate level, having been trained in research following graduation, and having undertaking years of research. To our knowledge, few studies have been conducted on faculty members’ perceptions of research in health care education, and we have identified only one such study related to occupational therapy education [ 36 ]. In a survey Ordinetz [ 36 ] found that the faculty members had a positive attitude towards research-related activities, and they considered research as an integral component of their role. Still, participants found research-related activities difficult to perform.

Research into how research-based education is experienced and perceived by faculty members and students is limited, especially in bachelor’s programmes in health care [ 21 , p. 11]. To gain a better understanding of the advantages or disadvantages of linking teaching and research, we therefor aimed to explore students’ and faculty members’ experiences and perceptions of research-based education in one bachelor’s programme in health care in Norway. Our specific research questions were:

  • How do students and faculty members in occupational therapy programmes perceive the emphasis on research in the programme?
  • How do occupational therapy students and faculty members perceive the expectations regarding research during the programme?
  • What similarities and differences exist between the experiences and perceptions of students and faculty members regarding research-based education in the programme?

Context of the research

In Norway, it is required that higher education should be research-based [ 37 ]. According to the Act relating to universities and university college § 1–1 b, education must be on the cutting edge in terms of research, development work and artistic practice [ 37 ]. In a recent white paper on quality in higher education, research-based education is defined as education that is linked to a research environment; is conducted by staff who also carry out research; builds on existing research in a particular field; provides knowledge about the philosophy of science and research methods; and provides opportunities for students to learn how research is conducted from staff or students themselves conducting research as a part of their studies [ 38 ].

In Norway, six higher education institutions offer bachelor’s programmes in occupational therapy. The bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy consists of 180 European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System (ECTS) credits and covers four main areas of learning: the natural sciences, medicine, the humanities and the social sciences as described in the National Curriculum [ 39 ]. In total, clinical education consists of 60 ECTS. Philosophy of science and research methods comprise 6 ECTS, and research and development consist of 9 ECTS. The bachelor project module involves research and development work in occupational therapy and consists of 15–20 ECTS, with some variation across programmes. According to the national curriculum, the purpose of the occupational therapy education is to prepare students to be professionally up-to-date, future-oriented and research-based in their practice [ 39 ]. Students should be able to read research papers and use research results in their professional practice, and they should be able to justify their actions to users, other professionals and employers. These regulations have typically been operationalized as learning outcomes, such as: “Students will be able to apply relevant theories and research results, to understand people with activity problems as a result of somatic illness or injury, and to be able to make reasoned choices of intervention”, or “Students will be able to find and apply research to justify an intervention in occupational health” [ 40 ].

Most higher education institutions in Norway require that faculty members hold a master’s degree and many require a PhD or equivalent. It is regulated by law that at least 20% of faculty members in programmes at the bachelor’s level have PhD or equivalent according to the regulation concerning supervision of the quality of education in higher education § 2–3 (4) [ 41 ]. The amount of time that faculty members are able to use on research and development varies between institutions. The type of academic position will often influence the percentage of time for which they can apply; 20% of a full-time position for assistant professors, 30% of a full-time position for associate professors and 40% of a full-time position for full professors [ 42 ].

We used a qualitative design with empirical data from six focus group interviews, and the research strategy ‘Interpretative description’ guided the analysis. Interpretive description is an inductive approach inspired by ethnography, grounded theory and phenomenology [ 43 ], and is a research strategy suitable for studying phenomena in practical disciplines, such as nursing, teaching and management [ 44 ]. It is an approach driven by a fundamental belief in the rightness of striving to find better ways to serve one’s disciplinary purpose, and the potential of research to guide one there [ 43 , p. 12].

Participants

A purposive sample was recruited consisting of two different participant categories: final year occupational therapy students and faculty members. Participants were recruited from three different bachelor’s programmes in Norway. We contacted programme managers, who helped us recruit faculty members. We used the students’ digital learning platform to inform them about the study and students were encouraged to contact us via email should they wish to participate in the study. Focus group interviews with students were conducted after their final clinical placement, when they had just started working on their bachelor’s projects. The study sample for this project consisted of two groups: third-year occupational therapy students (n = 18), and faculty members (n = 12). In total, 30 persons between the ages of 21 and 64 participated in the study ( Table 1 ), 7 of whom were men.

*Held a bachelor’s degree in other subject area before entering the bachelor’s program in occupational therapy.

Data collection

In total, we conducted six focus group interviews with occupational therapy students and faculty members from three different bachelor’s programmes. All focus groups were conducted during the spring of 2019. The focus groups with students and faculty members were conducted separatly, due to differences in expertise and power; according to Krueger [ 45 , p. 22], this is necessary to ensure that participants feel free to speak openly. The size of the focus groups ranged from two to eight participants ( Table 1 ), and they lasted between 76 and 86 minutes. A digital voice recorder was used to audiotape each session. The focus groups were held at a convenient time and location for the participants, such as meeting rooms on campus. All participants were asked to provide written consent before participating in the study, and completed a form, giving brief details about their background. A thematic interview guide was developed, based on the aim of this study and on previous research on research-based education. The following topics were covered: 1) perceptions of the term “research-based education”; 2) expectations regarding the use of research in education, including clinical placements; 3) students’ involvement in research projects and the faculty’s experiences regarding such involvement; 4) faculty’ members participation in research; 5) experiences with teaching research methods and the philosophy of science; and 6) research-based education and future professional practice. The first author developed the interview guide, drawing on previous research on the subject, and in cooperation with the three other authors. The authors are faculty members at different educational institutions. All authors were interested in the topic of research-based education, and were experienced both in teaching and supervising health care students, and conducting focus groups.

Ethical considerations

The Norwegian Data Protection Services (NSD) approved the study (ID number 845364). Participation in the study was voluntary and the participants had the opportunity to withdraw from the study at any time without consequences. All transcripts and notes were anonymous and written consent was obtained from all the participants. None of the authors conducted focus group interviews with their own colleagues.

Previous research into research-based education served as an important starting point for the interview guide and the analysis. Interpretive description guided the process of analysing the data [ 43 ]. The co-moderators took notes during the focus group interviews, and all focus group interviews were transcribed verbatim. After each focus group interview, the moderator and co-moderator engaged in a short debriefing session. The first and last author (KVH and NRO) performed the analyses, separately at first, followed by a joint analysis in which the two authors discussed and compared their interpretation of the data and agreed on patterns and themes. Word processing was used to analyse the data, and the analysis consisted of a series of operations: 1) reading the transcripts many times while being as open-minded as possible; 2) writing marginal remarks by consistently questioning the text and pointing out important points, potential themes or patterns; 3) condensing; 4) broad coding, 5) comparing and contrasting within focus groups with similar participant categories; and finally 6) comparing and contrasting focus groups compromised of different participant-categories. Comparing and contrasting within and between focus group interviews, enabled us to generate patterns and themes within the entire data set.

The analysis was characterized by a back and forth process that involved taking things apart and putting them back together again. Throughout this process, the first author frequently returned to the transcripts to ensure that the interpretations reflected the data. To ensure rigor and credibility in the analysis, the authors stepped away from the data periodically to ask questions such as: “what am I seeing?”, “why am I seeing that?”, “how else might I understand this aspect of data?”, “what might I not be seeing?” and “what are they not telling me?” [ 43 , p.174]. This approach prompted the authors to see the data through “alternative lenses” and to acknowledge that there was much else to be seen [ 43 , p. 174].

The aim of this study was to explore how occupational therapy students and faculty members experienced and perceived research-based education. Across the focus group interviews, we identified five integrative themes; “introducing research early”; “setting higher expectations”; “ensuring competence in research methods”; “having role models”, and “providing future best practice”. Students felt it was important to be introduced to research early on in the programme, meet high expectations regarding the use of research, gain competence in research methods and have role models who use research evidence during clinical education. Faculty members felt that students needed competence in research methods and they highlighted the importance of linking research to professional practice. We found the most contrasting views between students and faculty members to be related to the theme “setting higher expectations”. While the students would have liked more focus on research, the faculty members discussed whether expectations regarding the use of research were too high. Both students and faculty members across the focus group interviews believed that research-based education was important with regards to helping students achieve the necessary competences to provide future best practice.

Introducing research early

Across the focus group interviews, several students expressed the belief that focusing on research early in their education would better enable them to read and understand research during their training. Furthermore, one participant highlighted that occupational therapists are expected to integrate up-to-date research findings in their practice, and learning about research in the early stages was important in order to ensure this competence. Most students questioned the timing of when research should be introduced to students during their training. One of these students was of the opinion that learning about research should be mandatory from the start of the programme:

“I wished that teaching related to research was mandatory early in my studies. Everything you want to be good at requires practice, right? I wished that I had better research skills; [in particular concerning] searching for and using articles before we started working on our bachelor’s project.” (Student, Focus group 3)

This participant had also experienced benefits, such as higher grades, when using research articles in assignments. One of the other students highlighted that critical thinking is also part of research-based education. Students expressed a need to be critical with regard to research, and several of them wished that the curriculum had focused on how to read an article critically. Some of the participants pointed out that the use of research was not introduced until their final year, which they felt was too late.

Learning about research early on in the programme was also mentioned in one of the focus group interviews with faculty members. Some of the faculty members believed that learning to use research should be introduced at the start of the programme, as research is a natural part of academic development. For students to be able to read research articles early, they must also learn about research methods early on in the programme.

“I think it is important for [students’] academic development to start early. That they start early, and really expects that they will implement it in their first, second and third year, and that it won’t just come abruptly in third year.” (Faculty member, Focus group 6)

In contrast to this, one of the faculty members expressed that early on, some students seem more focused on understanding what it will be like to practice occupational therapy, rather than learning about research evidence:

“Of course, one must start [focusing on research], but I understand students who wish to understand what the profession is like first and foremost, right? What will my day consist of as a clinician when I graduate, that is what they want to know first, right?” (Faculty member, Focus group 6)

This faculty member felt that first-year students strived to grasp the concept of occupational therapy, and that understanding the profession is essential early on in their training. Later, students can develop their understanding and use of research evidence.

Setting higher expectations

Several students expressed that they would have preferred their teachers to have set higher expectations early on regarding the use of research during their training. They had the impression that the expectations had changed for new student cohorts, and they wished that they had been given the same opportunity. In contrast, however, one student described having been given clear expectations regarding the use of research articles during the first year, although these expectations decreased as the program progressed. This participant felt that the expectations regarding the use of research in assignments were too low, especially after the first year:

“It… seems sufficient to include a sentence from an article, and to refer to one research article in the reference list, and then it is okay in a way. I think the expectations are too low. We must include a research article, but why do we do this really? What is the point? Nothing more is required.” (Student, Focus group 2)

Some students also experienced that the expectations regarding the use of research use were too low during their clinical placements. They expressed that it was unusual to talk about theory and research during placement. As future clinical instructors, they would expect more research use from their students.

We found the most contrasting views between students and faculty members regarding this theme. While students would have liked more focus on research, the faculty members discussed whether expectations regarding the use of research were too high. In one focus group with faculty members, participants discussed how students’ motivations regarding the use of research varied. In their experience some of the students were mainly interested in hands-on practice, whereas others were more interested in research. In another focus group, faculty members indicated that they were satisfied with the requirements and expectations regarding research use among their students. They highlighted that learning about research requires maturation, and that the extent to which research can be integrated during training is limited.

Another factor that was highlighted by faculty members was a fear that the increased demand for research-based education could create a distance to professional practice. Some participants highlighted that it takes time to understand the profession and that too much emphasis on research in education could threaten this process. In one focus group interview, there was a discussion regarding how to balance the emphasis on research and profession- specific knowledge:

One participant remarked that research was too much in focus:

“In light of the national expectations regarding research-based and evidence-based practice, we need to ask ourselves, what is our profession, right? We live in a time and a society where evidence-based practice and research is almost emphasized too much.” (Faculty member, Focus group 6)

In contrast, however, one of the other faculty members in the same focus group, stated that one does not forget the importance of the occupational therapy profession when conducting research, and emphasized the importance of research in education.

In another focus group interview, some of the faculty members were concerned about the increasing demand for research competence among faculty members. They feared a situation where the majority of the faculty might have research competence, but limited clinical experience, which might affect the students’ learning of specific occupational therapy skills:

“Occasionally I fear that we have less of the experience-based knowledge in the faculty, now that faculty members are expected to have a PhD. Many [faculty members] start their career at the university colleges and universities and complete the doctoral degree, without having much clinical experience.” (Faculty member, Focus group 1)

Ensuring competence in research methods

Both students and faculty members highlighted that student’s needed competence in research methods. The students emphasized the need for more competence and skills regarding quantitative methods and statistics, to enable them to read and understand research articles. Several students stated that, while they had some knowledge about qualitative methods, they had not learned much about quantitative methods. The importance of competence in research methods was highlighted in one of the focus group interviews with students:

“If you have competence in [research] methods, then it might be easier to read and understand a research article. Often when I try to read a research article about something medical, I skip the methods section because I don’t understand it.” (Student, Focus group 2)

Students believed that reading research articles prepared them for clinical work. In fact, one participant was very aware of a lack of competence in research methods during a clinical placement and expressed this as follows:

“I experienced that clinical instructor said in the beginning of the placement “you [as a student] can use research, as you are good at it”. “This is perhaps a bit unfortunate, since we haven`t been sufficiently introduced to how to find and interpret research, and not early enough. As such, we didn’t used it [research] in the placement, because we haven’t been confident enough.” (Student, Focus group 3)

Competence in research methods was also discussed in relation to students’ bachelor’s projects. Students expressed that it was too late to start learning about research methods in the final year. If research methods were not introduced at an earlier stage, students felt unprepared for their bachelor’s project. Students stated that expectations regarding research use only took place in one exam, and they wished that they had been challenged more regarding the use of research throughout the programme. Benefits from reading research articles compared with regular textbooks were highlighted, such as learning more about the results from interventions within different patient groups. Faculty members also felt that teaching methods and the philosophy of science was not sufficiently integrated in the programme. They noted that a consequence of this was a lack of competence in research methods among students, which in turn was a challenge regarding student participation in research projects initiated by faculty members. As one participant explained:

“What I think now is that of course they have received too little teaching related to research methods to be able to contribute. I have a bad conscience that they have received too little basic knowledge to get started doing it.” (Faculty member, Focus group 5)

Having role models

Some of the students experienced working alongside role models who used research evidence, both on campus and in clinical placements. With regards to clinical instructors acting as role models, one of the students stated:

“The clinical instructors used a lot of research, so I felt that I also had to [use research evidence] to keep on track.” (Student, Focus group 2)

A student from another focus group also experienced clinical instructors as expecting students to use research, although this varied from placement to placement:

“If I had treated a patient, I had to justify this with research, but it was mostly when I had placements in hospitals, so it depended very much on the clinical placement site.” (Student, Focus group 4)

Some of the students encountered the expectation that nearly all treatments performed during their placements should be justified with research evidence, especially in hospital-based services. For example one particular student described:

“In my final clinical placement in occupational health services, it was only research that mattered. At this placement you were expected not to say anything without reading up on legislation and the latest knowledge.” (Student, Focus group 4)

In contrast to this, however, several other participants had the impression that their clinical instructors did not use much research but instead emphasized experienced-based knowledge and placed more emphasis on the students’ interaction skills. These students perceived that their clinical instructor’s decision-making was based on experience-based knowledge. One participant experienced this lack of emphasis on research in clinical placements as follows:

“My clinical instructor in my last clinical placement, started to say “I am probably not going to test you on use of research evidence, because there you are superior to me, since it has been so long since I have done that. Rather, I will keep an eye on your communication skills and how you appear.” (Student, Focus group 2)

Later in the focus group interview, the same participant stated:

“I wasn’t surprised, because this experience was similar to earlier experiences from other clinical placements: that we are not challenged on research-based stuff by the clinical instructor.” (Student, Focus group 2)

This is similar to the view of another participant who expressed that research use was not visible in any of the clinical placements. Despite or perhaps because of this experience, this participant saw the need to use research to keep-up-to date in future clinical practice.

Faculty members across the focus group interviews noted a variation regarding clinical instructors’ engagement in research evidence; however, one participant highlighted an increasing focus on research among clinicians:

“I always address [research] during clinical placement visits when clinical instructors are present, and I experience that the practice field is much more focused on research now than before. Many say that this is thanks to the students.” (Faculty member, Focus group 1)

As such, students could also influence the use of research evidence during clinical education. One of the faculty members confirmed this when noting that the students requested justifications based on research after lectures on making orthoses. This faculty member recalled that students had stated that they wished the clinician lecturer had used research evidence to better justify this type of intervention. The faculty member believed that students developed their critical thinking skills during the programme and became increasingly interested in how research supported clinical decisions. Some of the faculty members highlighted that they made an effort to stimulate students’ critical thinking skills, and that they were focused on educating students that could integrate critical thinking into their professional practice.

Students also experienced faculty members as role models in terms of using research in various ways. Some of the students described a difference between younger and more experienced faculty members. They found that younger faculty members who held a PhD and were recently hired, were more focused on research than faculty members with more clinical experience. The students described this as a generational shift that has possible led to an increased focus on research in the programme recently. Overall, the students’ impression of their teachers as active researchers varied. Some students had the impression that some of their teachers did not conduct much research, and others had the impression that all of the faculty members conducted research, that they invited students to participate in their projects, and that their research was visible both in their teaching and in reading lists:

“They talk about their research projects, so everyone as far as I know is involved in research in some way. I also see their names on research articles.” (Student, Focus group 3)

Furthermore, none of the students in the three focus group interviews remembered that teachers had focused on research during students’ clinical placements visits:

“I didn’t get any questions about research from the teacher during my placement visit. In a way I feel that everybody says that research is so important, but it feels like it is mostly experience-based.” (Student, Focus group 2)

In one of the focus group interviews with students, some participants described their uncertainly regarding whether their teachers were basing their lectures on research, as the Power Point presentations often lacked references. One student remarked:

“Since [the teachers] refer to theory using old sources, I don’t trust that they have searched for new research.” (Student, Focus group 3)

Providing future best practice

Across the focus group interviews, participants perceived that research in occupational therapy bachelor’s programmes was important with regard to helping students achieve the necessary competence to provide future best practice. Both students and faculty members expressed a need to use research as an information source to justify their professional practice to other professions and collaborators. From the students’ perspective, research can provide professional credibility and drive the profession forward. One student expressed the following:

“You… desire that the intervention or the treatment or what you provide is the most professionally credible option, and that this option will have the best possible effect.” (Student, Focus group 2)

This participant described the importance of incorporating research in training and clinical placements, to ensure that graduates integrate research in future clinical practice. Furthermore, the participant expressed a responsibility to keep-up-to date with research. One of the other participants in this focus group agreed, and emphasized that when working with patients, it is important to be familiar with the latest research evidence in a particular field.

Faculty members emphasized that graduates should have the necessary competence to be able to justify treatment choices to meet the demands of society. One of the faculty members stated that emphasis on research in the programme would probably increase the focus on research after graduation, when students would be less exposed to research than they were during their training. Another stated explicitly that being able to justify treatments using research, as opposed to using intuition only, could empower students in their future practice:

“When you work in hospital-based services, if you suggest an intervention, then you will be asked why you would do that and then you can justify it with research. And that is something I believe, the benefits of empowering our students to meet the demands of society, especially in hospital-based services.” (Faculty member, Focus group 1)

Our aim was to explore how occupational therapy students and faculty members experienced and perceived research-based education. We found that students were engaged in learning about research and they considered research to be important. Both students and faculty members perceived that research in bachelor’s programmes was important with regards to helping students achieve the necessary competence to provide future best practice in occupational therapy. Students expressed a need to be introduced to research in the early stages of the programme, and for higher expectations regarding the use of research during their education. Both students and faculty members acknowledged the need for students to gain competence in research methods, as this would enable them to read research articles and participate in research projects. Students maintained that both clinical instructors and faculty members were important role models in the use of research evidence.

In this study, students expressed that they would have preferred to learn about research earlier in their programme, and some of the faculty members highlighted that integrating research at an early stage was important for academic development. Early integration of research and enquiry has also been emphasized by Healey and Jenkins [ 15 ] and Jenkins and Healey [ 46 ]. Jenkins and Healey [ 46 ] have suggested that institutions and departments develop courses that engage students in research and enquiry from the beginning of their first year. They used the term “enquiry” to highlight the importance of curiosity, as well as critical thinking. An argument for early integration of research and enquiry is to enhance the linkage between teaching and discipline-based research [ 15 ]. Walkington et al. [ 47 ] have argued that all undergraduate geography students would benefit from early attempts to develop skills in enquiry and research. They found that students felt more prepared to undertake research independently when they were given the opportunity to practise research skills in advance [ 47 ]. This is relevant to our study findings, as the bachelor’s project in the final year in the occupational therapy programmes involves research-related tasks, but learning research methods takes time. Accordingly the students who participated in our study reported that they would have liked to learn about research methods earlier, as this would have better prepared them for undertaking their bachelor’s project.

Some of the faculty members in our study believed an early introduction to the use of research is a part of academic development and the importance of progressing in this area throughout the programme was underlined. In contrast, however, one of the faculty members expressed that, in the early stages of the programme, some students seemed to be more focused on understanding the role of the occupational therapist than learning about research. This contrasting view coincides with the findings of Wilson et al. [ 32 ], who found that some academics appear to have a hierarchical understanding of research, in which disciplinary content must be learned before engaging in research. Nevertheless, students and faculty member alike explicitly articulated the need for students to develop and learn critical thinking skills at an early stage in their programme, such as how to read an article critically. Critical thinking skills were highlighted as being both important for professional practice and research-based education. However, integrating the use of research evidence early also comes with challenges. Kyvik et al. [ 48 ] found that undergraduate professional students developed only limited understanding of research. This speak to the importance of integrating the use of research as early as possible in students’ training, as these are competences that students need in order to engage in evidence-based practice as professionals.

Most of the students experienced a lack of expectations regarding the use of research in assignments and during clinical placements, whereas some of the faculty members wondered whether the expectations were too high. Some faculty members feared that the increased demand for research-based education could widen the gap between education and professional practice. Interestingly, it appears that engaging in research and professional practice may be perceived as two separate domains, with some ambiguity concerning the role of research in the occupational therapy profession. This provides further support to Kyvik’s [ 21 , p. 142] argument that research-based education in bachelor programmes in health care should place an emphasis not just on enquiry-based learning but its relevance for professional practice.

Both students and faculty members in our study described competence in research methods among students as important. Students reported a need for competence in research methods, including quantitative methods, to be able to understand research articles. Moreover, faculty members reported that the lack of students’ competence in research methods could represent a challenge when including students in their own research projects. However, Decleene Huber et al. [ 31 ] found that students lacked confidence in using statistical procedures and statistical tests to interpret study results. Kyvik et al. [ 48 ] and Brew and Mantai [ 33 ] found that undergraduates lacked the research skills needed to be involved in faculty projects. This represent a potential challenge, as most students in our study reported that they wanting to know more about their teachers’ research and to be involved in their research projects. Students also highlighted that involvement in faculty research might be a way to inspire them to continue with research in the future. Healey and Jenkins [ 15 ] have argued that students seemed more motivated if they were integrated in their teachers’ research projects at an early stage in their studies. Moreover, Smyth et al. [ 49 ] claimed that students value research experience and experienced benefits from engaging in research such as an improved understanding of the research process, increased critical thinking and professional and practical skills. This supports the view that learning about research methods, including quantitative and statistical methods, should be integrated throughout the programme.

In our study, students highlighted the importance of role models with regards to using research, especially during clinical placements. Students reported that they were positively influenced by clinical instructors who used research in their work, and as a result, they felt obliged to use research to maintain their own professional development. Students who had experienced the opposite still reported that they had searched for and used research evidence to keep-up-to date. The importance of role models in promoting EBP and the use of research evidence has been reported in several studies [ 28 – 30 , 50 , 51 ]. Olsen et al. [ 50 ] and McCluskey [ 51 ] found that clinical instructors were important role models regarding EBP for students in clinical placements. Stube and Jedlicka [ 28 ] have suggested that educators have a role in assisting students to become scholarly consumers of evidence. In our study, most of the students had the overall impression that faculty members used research in their teaching, but the degree to which students were involved in research projects varied. In one focus group interview, students highlighted that all the faculty members were active researchers and published articles. However, students found that faculty members visiting students during placements were less inclined to focus on research. Some students also reported a focus on experienced-based knowledge more than on research-based knowledge among some clinical instructors. Closer cooperation between education and practice might be a way to increase the emphasis on research during clinical placements. Role models for use of research is of importance.

Experience with research and development work during training may enhance interest in applying research in one’s future working life [ 48 ]. Future quality health care delivery is often a main argument for integrating research in bachelors’ programme in health care education, such as occupational therapy education. In our study, both faculty members and students highlighted the importance of focusing on research in training to ensure that graduates have the necessary competence to provide future best practice. Previous research findings also indicated that students have a strong belief in the value of research for their future clinical practice [ 25 ] and desire to keep up-to-date in their field [ 23 ]. To achieve this, it is important that students start as early as possible and ideally during their formal education [ 2 ]. Deicke et al. [ 52 ] have highlighted that students need to work with actual research literature, develop research designs and undertake empirical research to increase their interest in research. Findings from our study indicate that emphasis should be placed on introducing the use of research at an early stage in the programme and higher expectations should be set for students regarding the use of research, both on campus and during clinical placements, to ensure that students achieve competence in research methods and that they are exposed to role models who use research evidence.

Occupational therapists have positive attitudes towards research, but infrequently implement research evidence in their daily practice [ 1 ]. This may be due to barriers such as lack of time to read research, insufficient facilities and difficulty understanding statistical analyses [ 53 ]. Results from our study indicate that a link between research and profession-specific knowledge is necessary for research-based education in bachelor’s programmes in health care education. Research should be integrated in teaching. Along this lines, Huet [ 14 ] has argued that faculty members need to be engaged in a scholarly manner within their disciplinary field, and has highlighted the importance of raising a culture of research and teaching as two integrated activities. Learning in a research-based education environment may ensure that students enriches the knowledge in their discipline [ 14 ]. Students need to be socialized into a culture of research. Ideally, the learning of research-specific skills should be integrated into all fields of learning in a programmes curricula and include skills in critical thinking, problem-solving, EBP and research, as emphasized by WFOT [ 8 ]. Increasing focus on research in curricula and improving the students’ formal training in research-specific skills could be a starting point towards increased use of research in the occupational therapy profession.

Limitations

This study explored the experiences and perceptions of occupational therapy students and faculty members regarding research-based education in three different occupational therapy programs in Norway. Conducting focus group interviews with both students and faculty members enabled us to explore and compare differences in perceptions and experiences. Focus groups compared to individual interviews can potentially create a synergy that is not possible in individual interviews [ 54 , p. 18]. The challenge with this method, is that there is a possibility that dominant participants can influence the results and participants tend to intellectualize [ 45 , p. 22, 13]. In our study, we did not experience dominant participants, although one of the participants in one of the focus group interviews contributed very little. We made efforts to include this participant more directly in the conversation.

This study was conducted in the early phase of third-year students’ bachelor’s projects. There is a possibility that the students were more focused on research during this phase of their training. It is also possibly that students who participated in this study could have been more interested in research-based education than students who chose not to participate. While a specific interest in research-based education may also have been the case for the faculty members who chose to participate in the study, we note that only three of the participating faculty members held a PhD or equivalent, and the majority of their experience originated from clinical practice. Thus, when considering the faculty’s views as expressed in this study, the characteristics of the group should be considered. In addition, one of the focus groups, made up of faculty members consisted of only two participants. A strenght of our study, is that two authors conducted the analysis. We considered using member checking, but decided against it, as, according to Thorne [ 43 p. 175], member checking can lead to false confidence if the participants confirm what you thought or potentially derail you from good analytic interpretations if they do not. With regards to the participants, however, we feel that including both students and faculty members as study participants represents a strength of the study. A corresponding limitations is that we are unable to assess the extent to which the study sample is representative of the population of faculty and students in occupational therapy education in Norway. However, as establishing representativity is generally not an aim of qualitative studies, and according to Thorne [ 43 , p. 105], there is no definitive rule regarding the correct sample size for an interpretive description study, we believe our findings still offer important insights for the field.

This study explored the experiences and perceptions of occupational therapy students and faculty members from three occupational therapy bachelor’s programmes in Norway regarding research-based education. Students in these programmes are expected to be competent in using research evidence. Findings from our study show that both students and faculty members perceive the use of research during training as important in order for students to provide future best practice. Furthermore, findings indicate that setting high expectations regarding the use of research early on, may be important in a bachelor’s programme in health care such as occupational therapy. Ensuring competence in research methods seems to be essential for achieving success in terms of research-based education. Moreover, clinical instructors and faculty members were highlighted as important role models in the use of research evidence. Future research is needed that focuses on the use of research by clinical instructors and their expectations of students regarding using research in clinical placements. Quantitative studies are also needed, so that a wider population can be reached, as are more focus groups among students and faculty members in other professional education programmes.

Supporting information

S1 checklist, funding statement.

The author(s) received no soecific funding for this work.

Data Availability

  • PLoS One. 2020; 15(12): e0243544.

Decision Letter 0

22 Jul 2020

PONE-D-20-09978

Research-based occupational therapy education: an exploration of students` and faculty members` experiences and perceptions

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Reviewer #1: Thank you for the opportunity to review this paper, which explores students’ and faculty members’ experiences with and perceptions of research-based occupational therapy education. The study method was described in detail and the analysis was conducted in line with the interpretative description methodology. I particularly enjoyed reading the quotes, which further demonstrated the depths of the research finding.

I have some concern with the way that ‘research-based education’ is conceptualised in the manuscript. Research-based teaching refers to teaching practice “…when academics plan, deliver and assess students’ work through their involvement in research or inquiry-based activities” (p.728, Huet, 2018 – Research-based education as a model to change the teaching and learning environment in STEM disciplines, published in the European Journal of Engineering Education, 43:5, 725-740). A similar term – ‘research-lead teaching’ – occurs when academics use their expertise as active researcher or use the research of others to inform teaching. Without knowing how the occupational therapy curriculum is structured, I find it difficult to accept that it is indeed research based. It would have been beneficial for the authors to give more detail about how the curriculum is designed and delivered and to provide a few examples of research-based learning activities. Why is occupational therapy education considered as a short professional education programme, given that it is a bachelor degree? What are the expectations placed on the lecturers teaching in the occupation therapy programme, in terms of their engagement with research? Are they all clinicians? Again, providing more information about the course structure might help reduce the confusion here.

I would have liked to see more rationale given to using interpretive description as the study methodology. What’s the advance of this approach and why is it most suitable for the current study?

Participants commented on the fear that “… the increased demand for research-based education could cause a distance to professional practice”. It would be important to discuss whether comments like this fits the overall research-based model and to provide solutions to reduce such fears. I personally think that research and teaching should not be competing against each other and that the whole premise of research-based education is to incorporate research into teaching, as a means to facilitate active inquiry and critical thinking.

Reviewer #2: 1) 1. The qualitative research in the care activities is interesting, related to the management of good health science education in explaining the views, phenomena and perceptions of both the instructor and the learner.

2. The method should be improved to give details of the research methodology to understand more clearly how to do, what to do and how to analyze in order to get reliable research results Due to a small sample number

3) 3) Summary of themes is good but should make the diagram interesting In order for readers to understand the elements discovered in quality research more clearly, will make this research suitable for dissemination that useful in occupational therapy for the publication of world-renowned journals. Should adjust the diagram to be clear

In my opinion, this paper is good for occuaptional therapy education and health science education. It can share in PLoS ONE journal to contribute around the world. I’m Ok accpet thay Minor Revision,

Best Regards

Supat Chupradit, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor in Occupational Therapy, Depaertment of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Chiang Mai University, Thailand

Reviewer #3: Exploring the perceptions of OT students and faculty regarding their experiences with receiving education about research is an important topic related to encouraging evidence-based practice in the field of OT. See attached review for detailed comments and recommendations for revision.

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Reviewer #1:  Yes:  Yan Chen

Reviewer #2:  Yes:  Supat Chupradit

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Submitted filename: PLOSOne review 07 2020.docx

Author response to Decision Letter 0

29 Oct 2020

Dear Editor and Reviewers: I have incorporated all of your suggestions into my revision. They were very helpful. Thank you. Please find them adressed in a separate document.

Submitted filename: Response to Reviewers.docx

Decision Letter 1

24 Nov 2020

PONE-D-20-09978R1

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Reviewer #1: All comments have been addressed

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Reviewer #1: Thank you for addressing all my concerns. The revised paper reads well and I have no further comments to make.

Reviewer #2: The Occupational Therapy Education research work is extensive and quite comprehensive, this is impressive manuscript. I accept the manuscript.

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Reviewer #2:  Yes:  Assistant Professor Dr. Supat Chupradit

Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Chiang Mai University, Chiang Mai, 50200, Thailand.

Email: [email protected]

ORCID https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8596-2991

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10 Dec 2020

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OTJR: Occupational Therapy Journal of Research

OTJR: Occupational Therapy Journal of Research

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  • Description
  • Aims and Scope
  • Editorial Board
  • Abstracting / Indexing
  • Submission Guidelines
  • Articles from social, psychological, medical and rehabilitation sciences that advance understanding of everyday activities as they influence participation and health
  • Original research from occupational therapy that supports evidence based practice to enable participation
  • Qualitative and/or mixed methods research from occupational science and other disciplines that provides insight into how humans engage, participate and interact within their cultures and society.  
  • Access to current articles, as well as several years of archived content
  • Early review of manuscripts online within two months of acceptance
  • Access to content in a Journal indexed in MEDLINE/PubMed, CINAHL, and Social Sciences Citation Index

The aim of OTJR is to advance knowledge and science in occupational therapy and related fields, nationally and internationally, through the publication of scholarly literature and research. The journal publishes research that advances the understanding of occupation as it relates to participation and health. The following topics should guide authors seeking to publish in the journal:

  • The relationship of occupation to health, well-being and/or quality of life
  • The influence of body systems or body function on occupational performance and/or social participation
  • The psychometric properties of measures or methodologies that advance understanding of performance, occupation, and participation
  • The outcomes or effects of interventions that influence performance, occupation, health, and/or quality of life
  • The effectiveness and efficacy of occupation-based interventions
  • The influence of the social, built, or natural environments on occupational performance;
  • Qualitative or mixed methods research from occupational science and other disciplines that provide insight into how humans engage, participate and interact within their cultures and society.
  • Other topics relating to occupational therapy practice that will lead to improving the lives of people as they seek to fully participate in family, work, community and society.
  • Clarivate Analytics: Current Contents - Social & Behavioral Sciences
  • Clarivate Analytics: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI)
  • PubMed: MEDLINE

For a Word document version of the author guidelines, please download the Word version attached .

Introduction       Editorial Board       Aims and Scope       Types of Manuscripts       Open Access Publishing Option Manuscript Submission Manuscript Preparation       ORCID       Patient Consent       Research Data Author Guidelines – All Manuscript Types       Formatting       Inclusive Language Guidelines       Cover Letter       Title Page       Key Words       Abstract       Plain Language Summary (PLS)       Main Document       References       Tables & Figures       Funding       Supplemental Materials Review Process Information Artificial Intelligence Author Guidelines for Revisions       On acceptance and publication       OnlineFirst Publication       Access to your published article       Promoting your article       Appealing the publication decision Contributor’s publishing agreement

Introduction OTJR:  Occupational Therapy Journal of Research   is published quarterly by the American Occupational Therapy Foundation, Inc. This peer-reviewed journal offers empirical and review articles to readers interested in advancing the understanding of occupation as it relates to participation and health. The journal invites manuscript submissions that conform to its purpose and scope (see aims and scope below) without regard to the professional affiliation of authors. The journal encourages submissions of original research reports of translational or basic research studies with quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods designs.

Editorial Board A current listing of members on the Editorial Board can be found at:  https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/otjr-occupation-participation-and-health/journal202285#editorial-board

Aims and Scope The aim of OTJR:  Occupational Therapy Journal of Research   is to advance knowledge and science in occupational therapy, occupational science, and related fields, nationally and internationally, through the publication of scholarly literature and research. The journal publishes research that advances the understanding of occupation as it relates to participation and health.

The following topics may guide authors seeking to publish in the journal:

  • The influence of body systems or body function on occupational performance and/or social participation 
  • Original research from occupational therapy that supports evidence-based practice to enable participation
  • Occupational development in all ages of the lifespan, i.e., the occupation of children, the importance of occupation in maintaining health in aging
  • The influence of the social, built, or natural environments on occupational performance
  • Qualitative or mixed methods research from occupational science and other disciplines that provide insight into how humans engage, participate, and interact within their cultures and society
  • Other topics relating to occupational therapy practice that will lead to improving the lives of people as they seek to fully participate in family, work, community, and society

Types of Manuscripts OTJR:  Occupational Therapy Journal of Research   publishes:

  • Full-length original research articles , which include empirical translational or basic research studies with quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods designs.
  • Review articles,  including systematic literature reviews, meta-analyses; evidence-based reviews, integrative reviews, or scoping reviews.
  • Brief Reports  that represent a short report of original research that is pilot or exploratory in nature or addresses a discrete research question and lacks broad implications
  • Book reviews ,
  • Letters to the editor , and
  • Forum proceedings that inform and/or advance the science of occupational therapy. Submissions will be determined by invitation from the Editor-in-Chief, or topic proposals may be submitted directly to the Editor-in-Chief for consideration.
  • Invited reviews or commentaries, by invitation from the Editor-in-Chief. Topic proposals may be submitted directly to the Editor-in-Chief for consideration.

OTJR does not accept research protocol or occupational therapy education  focused manuscripts.

Open Access Publishing Option OTJR offers optional open access publishing via the Sage Choice program. This allows you to publish your article with a CC-BY license.

Please visit the  Sage Choice website  for additional information, pricing and eligibility for possible discounts or waivers. For more information on open access options and compliance at Sage, including self-author archiving deposits (green open access) visit  Sage Publishing Policies  on our Journal Author Gateway.

Should you wish to submit for Open Access publishing, you may identify your submission as Open Access upon submission.

Manuscript Submission Manuscripts addressing one or more of the above purposes are acceptable for submission. Please read the guidelines below then submit manuscripts to: https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/otjr .    Manuscripts considered for publication with OTJR:  Occupational Therapy Journal of Research  must be submitted solely to OTJR and must not have been previously published elsewhere.

During the submission process, authors must indicate if they have a financial interest in or serve as a consultant, reviewer, or evaluator for any product or company mentioned in the article. As part of the submission process, authors will be required to warrant that: (1) authors are submitting their original work; (2) authors have ownership rights in the work; and (3) authors have obtained and can supply all necessary permissions for the reproduction of any copyright works not owned by them. Accordingly, authors are submitting the work for first publication in the Journal; it is not being considered for publication elsewhere, and it has not already been published elsewhere.

Authors are responsible for obtaining permission from copyright holders for reproducing any illustrations, tables, figures, or lengthy quotations previously published elsewhere. If academic, hospital, or business affiliations are given or are referred to in the manuscript, it is the responsibility of the author to obtain permission from the proper authorities to use the names of such. All letters of permission should be submitted with the manuscript. If applicable, authors should describe the role of the study sponsor, if any, in study design; collection, analysis, and interpretation of data; writing the report; and the decision to submit the report for publication. If the supporting source had no such involvement, the authors should so state. If applicable, authors must declare whether they had assistance with study design, data collection, data analysis, or manuscript preparation. If the manuscript reports on a registered clinical trial and has been assigned a trial registration number from a public trials registry, authors should provide this information.

Please see the Sage guidelines on prior publication and note that OTJR:  Occupational Therapy Journal of Research  may accept submissions of papers that have been posted on pre-print servers. Please note this in your submission and include the DOI for the pre-print in the designated field in the manuscript submission system. Authors should not post an updated version of their paper on the pre-print server while it is being peer reviewed for possible publication in the journal. If the article is accepted for publication, the author may re-use their work according to the journal's author archiving policy. If the paper is accepted, authors must include a link on the pre-print to the final version of the paper.

Sage Publishing disseminates high-quality research and engaged scholarship globally, and we are committed to diversity and inclusion in publishing. We encourage submissions from a diverse range of authors from across all countries and backgrounds.

Manuscript Preparation ORCID As part of our commitment to ensuring an ethical, transparent and fair peer review process Sage is a supporting member of ORCID, the Open Researcher and Contributor ID . ORCID provides a unique and persistent digital identifier that distinguishes researchers from every other researcher, even those who share the same name, and, through integration in key research workflows such as manuscript and grant submission, supports automated linkages between researchers and their professional activities, ensuring that their work is recognized. 

The collection of ORCID IDs from corresponding authors is now part of the submission process of this journal. If authors already have an ORCID ID, authors will be asked to associate that to the submission during the online submission process. We also strongly encourage all co-authors to link their ORCID ID to their accounts in our online peer review platforms. It takes seconds to do. Click the link when prompted, sign into your ORCID account and our systems are automatically updated. Authors’ ORCID ID will become part of the accepted publication’s metadata, making your work attributable only to the authors. ORCID ID is published with the  accepted article so that fellow researchers reading the article can link to the authors’ ORCID profile and from there link to the authors’ other publications.  

If authors do not already have an ORCID ID please follow this link to create one or visit our ORCID homepage to learn more.

Patient Consent Authors are required to ensure the following guidelines are followed, as recommended by the  International Committee of Medical Journal Editors, Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals. Patients have a right to privacy that should not be infringed without informed consent. Identifying information, including patients' names, initials, or hospital numbers, should not be published in written descriptions, photographs, and pedigrees unless the information is essential for scientific purposes and the patient (or parent or guardian) gives written informed consent for publication. Informed consent for this purpose requires that a patient who is identifiable be shown the manuscript to be published. 

Identifying details should be omitted if they are not essential. Complete anonymity is difficult to achieve, however, and informed consent should be obtained if there is any doubt. For example, masking the eye region in photographs of patients is inadequate protection of anonymity. If identifying characteristics are altered to protect anonymity, such as in genetic pedigrees, authors should provide assurance that alterations do not distort scientific meaning and editors should so note. When informed consent has been obtained it should be indicated in the submitted article.

Research Data At Sage we are committed to facilitating openness, transparency, and reproducibility of research. Where relevant, The Journal encourages authors to share their research data in a suitable public repository subject to ethical considerations and where data is included, to add a data accessibility statement in their manuscript file. Authors should also follow data citation principles. For more information please visit the Sage Author Gateway , which includes information about Sage’s partnership with the data repository Figshare.

Author Guidelines – All Manuscript Types The following guidelines adhere to Sage and OTJR:  Occupational Therapy Journal of Research’s   Editorial Policies, and must be used prior to, and while developing and submitting a manuscript. When submitting manuscripts, authors will be asked to confirm that they have read these guidelines and that their submission adheres to the guidelines. Manuscripts that do not conform to these guidelines will be returned to the author without review.

Formatting All manuscript submissions must be typed in Times New Roman, with a 12-point font size. The line spacing must be double-spaced throughout the manuscript, including the title page, abstract, main document, references, acknowledgments, figure legends, and tables. Each page should be  numbered sequentially. Each page should have 1-inch margins on all sides, with the right side of the text unjustified.

Authors should submit the manuscripts prepared in accordance with the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, 7th edition ( http://www.apastyle.org ). The Journal also adheres to the Uniform Requirements for Manuscripts Submitted to Biomedical Journals (2010) of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors. Do not use error-prone abbreviations (see www.ismp.org/Tools/errorproneabbreviations.pdf for a complete list).

Reporting Guidelines The relevant EQUATOR Network reporting guidelines should be followed depending on the type of study. The EQUATOR wizard can help you identify the appropriate guideline ( https://www.penelope.ai/equatorwizard ). Below are some examples:

  • Randomized trials : All randomized controlled trials should include a completed CONSORT flow chart  as a cited figure and the completed CONSORT checklist as a supplementary file.
  • Systematic reviews : Systematic reviews should include a completed PRISMA flow chart as a cited figure and a completed PRISMA checklist as a supplementary file.

Other resources can be found at NLM’s Research Reporting Guidelines and Initiatives .

Inclusive Language Guidelines OTJR: Occupational Therapy Journal of Research   recommends :

  • Names of conditions are more specific than categories of conditions or general references, such as "people with disabilities." The language to use for disability is evolving. The important part is to maintain the integrity of all individuals as human beings.
  • Person-first language emphasizes the person, not individual's disabling or chronic condition (e.g., person with paraplegia, people with substance use disorders, people with intellectual disabilities)
  • Identity-first language can be used when the disability becomes the focus, which allows the individual to claim the disability and choose their identity rather than permitting others to name it or select terms with negative implications (e.g., blind person, autistic person, amputee)
  • It is permissible to use either approach or to mix person-first and identity-first language unless, or until, you know that a group or individual clearly prefers a specific approach.
  • Neurodiversity is a term that has been embraced by many advocacy movements by, and on behalf of, affected individuals, such as people with autism spectrum disorders and learning disabilities, because it shows there are natural variations in brain differences.
  • Refer to individuals with disabilities as “patients” or “clients” within the context of a health care setting.

OTJR: Occupational Therapy Journal of Research  requests that authors  avoid :

  • Avoid “othering” terms, slurs, and excessively negative labels.
  • Avoid pictorial metaphorics or negativistic terms that imply restriction (e.g., “wheelchair bound”), excessive and negative labels (e.g., “AIDS victim”), and slurs (e.g., “cripple”).
  • Avoid euphemisms that are condescending when describing individuals with disabilities (e.g., “special needs,” “physically challenged,” “handi-capable”).
  • Avoid reducing people with disabilities to a list or group of deficiencies.

Cover Letter Every manuscript submission must be accompanied by a cover letter, addressed to the Editor-in-Chief. In the cover letter, please make sure to specify the type of submission (e.g., full-length research article, book review, letter to the editor, or forum proceeding). Include a general description of the submission and its content. For book reviews, include the book under review in the general description. Also, provide a rationale for why the submission will make a substantive contribution to the journal. During the submission process, copy and paste, and upload the cover letter into the designated section.

Title Page Every manuscript submission must include a Title Page, uploaded as a separate file. During the submission process, select “Title Page” from the file designation pull-down menu. The Title Page should include the following:

  • Manuscript title : The title should be a maximum 12 words without any abbreviations.
  • Authors:  All contributing authors should be listed on the title page with their professional designations and affiliations. Papers should only be submitted for consideration once consent is given by all contributing authors. Those submitting papers should carefully check that all those whose work contributed to the paper are acknowledged as contributing authors. The list of authors should include all those who can legitimately claim authorship. This is all those who: (i) made a substantial contribution to the concept and design, acquisition of data or analysis and interpretation of data, (ii) drafted the article or revised it critically for important intellectual content, (iii) approved the version to be published. Please refer to the ICMJE Authorship guidelines .
  • Corresponding author:  Include the mailing and email address of only the corresponding author.
  • Acknowledgements section:  For the purposes of anonymous peer review, include acknowledgements grant/contract support, and information concerning previous presentation of the material at symposia or conferences in an "Acknowledgements" section of the title page, and not in the main manuscript submission. Once a decision has been reached regarding publication, this section will appear in the manuscript prior to the references. All contributors who do not meet the criteria for authorship should be listed in the "Acknowledgements" section. Examples of those who might be acknowledged include a person who provided purely technical help, writing assistance, or a department chair who provided only general support. Authors should disclose whether they had any writing assistance and identif ythe entity that paid for this assistance.
  • Declaration of conflicting interests section:  The policy of OTJR: Occupational Therapy Journal of Research  requires a declaration of conflicting interests from all authors enabling a statement to be carried within the paginated pages of all published articles. Please include any declaration in a "Conflict of Interests" section on the title page. If no declaration is made, the following will be printed under this heading in your article: "None declared." Alternatively, you may wish to state that "The Author(s) delcare(s) that there is no conflict of interest." When making a declaration the disclosure information must be specific and include any financial relationship that all authors of the article have with any sponsoring organization, editorial, publisher, and the for-profit interests the organization represents, and with any for-profit product discussed or implied in the text of the article. Any commercial or financial involvements that might represent an appearance of a conflict of interest need to be additionally disclosed in a covering letter accompanying your article to assist the Editor in evaluating whether sufficient disclosure has been made within the Declaration of Conflicting Interests provided in the article. For more information, please visit the Sage Journal Author Gateway .
  • Research ethics section and patient consent:  For all submissions, on the title page please include the full name of the Institutional Review Board and an Ethics Committee reference number. In the methods section of the manuscript please include appropriate anonymous information only. All other manuscript files should be devoid of author information (example: name, institution, city) to facilitate the anonymous peer review process. When reporting studies involving human subjects, authors must indicate whether the procedures followed were in accordance with the ethical standards of relevant institutional or national bodies and consistent with the revised (2000) Helsinki Declaration and typescripts must include a statement that the research protocol was approved by the appropriate ethical committee. All papers reporting animal and human studies must report approval, or a letter stating the study was exempt, obtained from the local Ethics Review Board or Institutional Review Board (or the equivalent for countries other than the US and Canada). Also, the manuscript must report whether appropriate informed consent procedures were used; that all subjects were informed of the study's risks and benefits, that their participation was voluntary, and that their identity would not be disclosed. Authors must also confirm appropriate handling of confidentiality and data security.
  • Trials:  If you are submitting a trial and it has been registered, please include this full information on the title page. Please also include the anonymized information in the methods section of the paper. In line with the Declaration of Helsinki 1975, revised Hong Kong 1989, we encourage authors to register their clinical trials (at  http://clinicaltrials.gov  or other suitable databases identified by the ICMJE,  http://www.icmje.org/publishing_10register.html ).
  • For book reviews:  The title page should include the following information about the book in reference format using APA 7th edition: Author Last Name, Author name. (YEAR).  Book title.  Place of publication: Publisher, Date of publication.

Key Words When submitting the manuscript in ScholarOne, authors must select three identifying key words from the available options. The keywords should reflect the manuscripts content area and/or methodology. Key words do not need to be listed on the manuscript files or title page.

Abstract Articles should include an abstract that clearly and concisely summarizes the manuscript. The abstract should be written in one paragraph and contain the following headings: rationale OR background, objectives, methodology, results OR findings, and implications OR conclusion. Abstracts should be no more than 150 words, which is inclusive of required headings. During the submission process, copy and paste the abstract into the designated section.

Plain Language Summary (PLS)

Please include a PLS with your submission. The PLS should contain a plain language title of up to 50 words and a summary of up to 300 words. The PLS should provide an engaging and understandable summary of the research, avoiding technical jargon, and clearly reflect the findings, merits, and limitations of the research using non-technical language. PLS must be suitable for a broad range of non-researchers that may benefit from this knowledge translation, such as: clinicians, service users and/or family members, policy makers, or members of the media.

The PLS publishes directly below the scientific abstract and are open access making it available online for anyone to read. Peer review of the PLS will be conducted following our PLS reviewer guidelines . When submitting, authors should enter their plain language title and plain language summary into the box provided in the submission system. The PLS does not need to be provided in the manuscript text or as a separate file. Manuscripts without a PLS, or a PLS which is a direct copy of the scientific abstract, will be returned. If the article type does not require an abstract and therefore does not require a PLS please enter “N/A” in each box.

If you need professional help writing your Plain Language Summary, please visit our Author Services portal.

Requirements for Anonymous Peer Review - All Submissions In order to facilitate this double-anonymous peer review, authors are required to submit:

  • A  version of the manuscript  which has had any information that compromises the anonymity of the author(s) removed or anonymized. This version  will be sent  to the peer reviewers.
  • A  separate title page  which includes any removed or anonymized material. This  will not be sent  to the peer reviewers.

Main Document Word Limit per Submission Type Word limits for manuscript submissions, and whether references are included within the word limits will vary by submission type, as outlined below. Words contained in Tables, Figures, or Supplementary Files are NOT included in the word count.

research paper on occupational therapy

Original Research Article and Occupational Science Section   Full-length research articles may include data-driven quantitative, qualitative, or mixed-methods designs. When the journal announces a call for a Special Issue, the Special Issue should adhere to the guidelines listed here, in addition to in the information stated in the call for papers.

  • Introduction: The introduction should include: a literature review of the topic, clearly defined objectives/hypotheses/aims/research questions, and a rationale for conducting the study. Objectives should identify the specific aim or outcome of the study.
  • Methods: The methods section shoudl clearly outline the: study design, setting and location, process of participant selection and eligibility criteria, participant consent, measures/variables/assessments, outcomes, data collection and analyses. Please state whether an ethics or institutional review board approval was obtained; if not, provide a rationale.
  • Results: The results section should provide a clear interpretation of the results, consistent with the quantitative, or qualitative, or mixed methodology used.  
  • Discussion: The discussion section should: restate the purpose of the study, explore the study findings in comparison to the current literature, address study limitations and strengths. Discussion should include an emphasis on the implications of the research to occupational therapy practice or occupational science.
  • Conclusions: The conclusion section should: answer the study’s objectives/hypotheses/aims/research questions, include how the manuscript contributes to the further improvement/ understanding of occupation, participation and/or health, and address how the manuscript contributes to the evidence base of occupational therapy practice and/or the advancement of occupational science.

Brief Reports

A Brief Report is a short report of original research that is typically pilot or exploratory in nature or that addresses a discrete research question and lacks broad implications. The research can be of any design. A brief report may present an update on previously reported work if it includes new data, results, etc. Authors should follow author guidelines for reporting original research to the extent possible, given the established word limit.

Forum Proceedings Foru m Proceedings should include the following:

  • Introduction: The introduction should include a literature review of the topic, the history and purpose of the present forum, information on prior forums on this topic (if applicable), the rationale for conducting a forum on this topic (e.g., why this format, why now, and why with these stakeholders), and outline the objectives of the forum. Objectives should identify the specific aim or outcome of the forum.
  • Methods: The methods section should outline participants, partners, and organizations, specifically: who convened the forum, and who were the invited participants and/or stakeholders at the forum, and their roles. Descriptive statistics of participant demographics (e.g., discipline area, credentials, levels of expertise, etc.) should be provided if possible. The setting and procedures for the forum should be outlined, specifically: the location, duration, and description of forum agenda and areas of focus; how were panels convened, and by whom; and whether there is an external reference/archive to the forum contents and/or presentations. Please note whether an ethics or institutional review board approval was obtained; if not, provide a rationale. Data evaluation should be outlined, specifically with regards to how participant feedback was obtained, evaluated, and integrated into the outcome of the forum; and how consensus was reached.
  • Results: The results section should summarize specific outcome recommendations and the level of consensus for each, as applicable.
  • Discussion: Discussion should further explore each outcome/recommendation for future directions and priorities, pertaining to clinical practice, research, public health, and/or policy. Discussion should further situate outcomes in relation to existing evidence or literature when feasible.
  • Conclusions: Conclusions should be completed as per the guidelines for full-research article submissions.

Book Reviews Book reviews should provide a brief and clear description of the contents of the book, including scope and structure. Reviews must provide brief information about the author and the background of the book (example: if the book is a result of a PhD dissertation). The review should evaluate the boo k’s strengths and weaknesses, and provide examples of each. Authors may wish to consider the following questions when summarizing the strengths and weaknesses of the book:

  • What are important contributions that this book makes?
  • What contributions could have been made, but were not made?
  • What aspects where missing?
  • How does this book stand out when compared to others in the field?
  • To which audience(s) will this book be most helpful?

If needed, use quotations to provide an example of the writing style and/or statements that are particularly helpful in illustrating the author(s) points. The review should assess the book’s  place in the field of occupational therapy and/or occupational science, including comments on the potential value and impact of the book.

Letters to the Editor Letters should provide thoughtful scientific criticism, rebuttal, or personal data relating to research articles or commentary published in OTJR: Occupational Therapy Journal of Research . No more than five citations and references can be included. Unless specifically indicated to the contrary, all letters will be assumed to be for publication and will be subject to the same editorial revision policies as other manuscripts.

References Submit References in the main document and format to APA 7th edition style. Please note that references may be included in the word limit , dependent on the type of submission as outlined in the “Word Count” table above. The author must assume responsibility for the accuracy of references. Old citations should relate to the original work in the field, classic work related to the topic, or, in rare cases, the only other relevant work.

Tables & Figures The manuscript submission should have a maximum of five tables and figures, combined. Tables and Figures are NOT counted within the word limit.

Instructions for Tables are as follows:

  • Submit Tables in a separate document, with each Table on a new page within a word processing document (e.g., DOCX).
  • Tables may be submitted in separate documents as per the preference of the author.
  • Format each Table according to APA 7th edition, with proper numbering and a table title.
  • Indicate the location of the table in the manuscript with a placeholder (example: <Insert table 1 here>).
  • During submission, select “Table” from the file designation pull-down menu.

Instructions for Figures are as follows:

  • Submit each Figure in a separate file.
  • Submit Figures as digital images with high resolution (at least 300 dpi) in JPEG or TIFF format.
  • Submitting images that are embedded into Word or PowerPoint® files are NOT acceptable.
  • Figures will be printed in black and white only. Figure legends should not be included in the digital image. Instead, indicate the location of the figure in the manuscript with a placeholder that represents the figure legend (example: <insert figure 1 here>)
  •  During submission, select “Figure” from the file designation pull-down menu.

Funding To comply with the guidance for Research Funders, Authors and Publishers issued by the Research Information Network (RIN), OTJR: Occupational Therapy Journal of Research additionally requires all Authors to acknowledge their funding in a consistent fashion under a separate heading . Please visit  Funding Acknowledgement s o n the Sage Journal Author Gateway to confirm the format of the acknowledgment text in the event of funding or state in the acknowledgments section that: This research received no specific grant from any funding agency in the public, commercial, or not-for-profit sectors.

Supplemental Materials Supplemental material is published electronically on the journal website and does not appear in the print version of the journal but is readily accessed from the journal’s table of contents as well as by a hyperlink within the pdf file of the manuscript. In general, supplemental materials may include information that is of value but is not critical for readers to understand the main outcomes of the study and may also include results that enhance or extend the findings.

Reference to supplemental material should be made in the main text of the paper (e.g., Supplemental methods, Supplemental Figure 1, Supplemental Table 2, etc.), and their legends/titles should be labeled in the same way. The files should also be labeled with “supplement" (or "supp," "supplementary," etc.) in the file name. Please select “Supplementary File” from the file designation pull-down menu when uploading these files during the submission process.

Supplemental Materials should be submitted in the format for publication because Supplemental Materials are not type-set or edited by the publisher and are not provided with the page proofs.

Artificial Intelligence

Use of Large Language Models and generative AI tools in writing your submission

Sage recognizes the value of large language models (LLMs) (e.g. ChatGPT) and generative AI as productivity tools that can help authors in preparing their article for submission; to generate initial ideas for a structure, for example, or when summarizing, paraphrasing, language polishing etc. However, it is important to note that all language models have limitations and are unable to replicate human creative and critical thinking. Human intervention with these tools is essential to ensure that content presented is accurate and appropriate to the reader. Sage therefore requires authors to be aware of the limitations of language models and to consider these in any use of LLMs in their submissions:

  • Objectivity: Previously published content that contains racist, sexist or other biases can be present in LLM-generated text, and minority viewpoints may not be represented. Use of LLMs has the potential to perpetuate these biases because the information is decontextualized and harder to detect.
  • Accuracy: LLMs can ‘hallucinate’ i.e. generate false content, especially when used outside of their domain or when dealing with complex or ambiguous topics. They can generate content that is linguistically but not scientifically plausible, they can get facts wrong, and they have been shown to generate citations that don’t exist. Some LLMs are only trained on content published before a particular date and therefore present an incomplete picture.
  • Contextual understanding: LLMs cannot apply human understanding to the context of a piece of text, especially when dealing with idiomatic expressions, sarcasm, humor, or metaphorical language. This can lead to errors or misinterpretations in the generated content.
  • Training data: LLMs require a large amount of high-quality training data to achieve optimal performance. However, in some domains or languages, such data may not be readily available, limiting the usefulness of the model.

Guidance for authors

Authors are required to:

  • Clearly indicate the use of language models in the manuscript , including which model was used and for what purpose. Please use the methods or acknowledgements section, as appropriate.
  • Verify the accuracy, validity, and appropriateness of the content and any citations generated by language models and correct any errors or inconsistencies.
  • Provide a list of sources used to generate content and citations, including those generated by language models. Double-check citations to ensure they are accurate, and are properly referenced.
  • Be conscious of the potential for plagiarism where the LLM may have reproduced substantial text from other sources. Check the original sources to be sure you are not plagiarizing someone else’s work.
  • Acknowledge the limitations of language models in the manuscript , including the potential for bias, errors, and gaps in knowledge.
  • Please note that AI bots such as ChatGPT should not be listed as an author on your submission.

We will take appropriate corrective action where we identify published articles with undisclosed use of such tools.

Review Process Information Manuscripts meeting the stated guidelines go through the peer review process common to most respected professional journals. OTJR: Occupational Therapy Journal of Research adheres to a rigorous double-anonymous reviewing policy in which the identity of both the reviewer and author are always concealed from both parties. All manuscripts are reviewed anonymously by a minimum of two reviewers.

In order to facilitate this double-anonymous peer review, authors are required to submit:

  • A version of the manuscript  which has had any information that compromises the anonymity of the author(s) removed or anonymised. This version  will  be sent to the peer reviewers.
  • A  separate title page  which includes any removed or anonymised material. This  will not  be sent to the peer  reviewers.

The average time to first decision is published annually in the January Editorial. Upon acceptance, authors will receive page proofs to review before the manuscript is published. The corresponding author will receive an electronic complimentary copy of the manuscript, which they can share with their co-authors.

OTJR is committed to delivering high quality, fast peer-review for your paper, and as such has partnered with Publons. Publons is a third-party service that seeks to track, verify and give credit for peer review. Reviewers for OTJR can opt in to Publons in order to claim their reviews or have them automatically verified and added to their reviewer profile. Reviewers claiming credit for their review will be associated with the relevant journal, but the article name, reviewer’s decision and the content of their review is not published on the site. For more information visit the Publons website.

Author Guidelines for Revisions Authors may submit a revised version of their manuscript to the journal if they receive a decision that requests revision and resubmission. Revised manuscript submissions must include at least three documents: (1) cover letter with full information on author information; (2) anonymous response letter to reviewers; and (3) a revised version of the manuscript that cle arly identifies all changes made.

  • Cover letter: Submit the cover letter as a separate document. Address the cover letter to the Editor-in-Chief. In the cover letter, state that you are resubmitting the manuscript and that you have addressed all of the reviewers’ comments. The cover letter may be unblended.
  • Response letter to reviewers: Submit the Response letter to reviewers as a separate document. This document must be separate from the cover letter. Do not include any identifying information, as the letter will go through peer review. Ensure you clearly address each reviewers’ comments with referral to the changes made in the main document.
  • Revised version of the manuscript that highlights all changes made: Submit the Revised version of the manuscript as a separate document. Highlight all changes made; for example, through using track changes, highlighting the text, or using a different font color. Do not include any identifying information, as the revised manuscript will be peer reviewed. Do not submit a clean copy of the revised manuscript. Ensure you adhere to all guidelines listed under Manuscript Preparation (e.g., maximum word count as outlined above, dependent on submission type).

On acceptance and publication Your Sage Production Editor will keep you informed as to your article’s progress throughout the production process. Proofs will be made available to the corresponding author via our editing portal Sage Edit or by email, and corrections should be made directly or notified to us promptly. Authors are reminded to check their proofs carefully to confirm that all author information, including names, affiliations, sequence and contact details are correct, and that Funding and Conflict of Interest statements, if any, are accurate.

OnlineFirst Publication OnlineFirst allows final articles (completed and approved articles awaiting assignment to a future issue) to be published online prior to their inclusion in a journal issue, which significantly reduces the lead time between submission and publication. Visit the Sage Journals help page for more details, including how to cite OnlineFirst articles.

Access to your published article Sage provides authors with online access to their final article.  

Promoting your article Publication is not the end of the process! You can help disseminate your paper and ensure it is as widely read and cited as possible. The Sage Author Gateway has numerous resources to help you promote your work. Visit the Promote Your Article page on the Gateway for tips and advice. In addition, Sage is partnered with Kudos, a free service that allows authors to explain, enrich, share, and measure the impact of their article. Find out how to maximize your article’s impact with Kudos .

Appealing the publication decision Editors have very broad discretion in determining whether an article is an appropriate fit for their journal. Many manuscripts are declined with a very general statement of the rejection decision. These decisions are not eligible for formal appeal unless the author believes the decision to reject the manuscript was based on an error in the review of the article, in which case the author may appeal the decision by providing the Editor with a detailed written description of the error they believe occurred.

If an author believes the decision regarding their manuscript was affected by a publication ethics breach, the author may contact the publisher with a detailed written description of their concern, and information supporting the concern, at [email protected]   This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) . COPE suggests a transparent appeals policy is best practice but please discuss with your editor.  

Contributor’s publishing agreement Before publication, Sage requires the author as the rights holder to sign a Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement. Sage’s Journal Contributor’s Publishing Agreement is an exclusive license agreement which means that the author retains copyright in the work but grants Sage the sole and exclusive right and license to publish for the full legal term of copyright. Exceptions may exist where an assignment of copyright is required or preferred by a proprietor other than Sage. In this case copyright in the work will be assigned from the author to the society. For more information please visit our Frequentl y Asked Question s  o n the Sage Journal Author Gateway. 

OTJR: Occupational Therapy Journal of Research   and Sage take issues of copyright infringement, plagiarism or other breaches of best practice in publication very seriously. We seek to protect the rights of our authors and we always investigate claims of plagiarism or misuse of articles published in the journal. Equally, we seek to protect the reputation of the journal against malpractice. Submitted articles may be checked using duplication-checking software. OTJR: Occupational Therapy Journal of Research   editorial staff will subject a certain number of articles, randomly chosen, to Turnitin to scan for plagiarism. Where an article is found to have plagiarized other work or included third-party copyright material without permission or with insufficient acknowledgement, or where authorship of the article is contested, we reserve the right to take action including, but not limited to: publishing an erratum or corrigendum (correction); retracting the article (removing it from the journal); taking up the matter with the head of department or dean of the author’s institution and/or relevant academic bodies or societies; banning the author from publication in the journal or all Sage journals, or appropriate legal action.  

There are no fees payable to submit or publish in this journal.

However, OTJR offers optional open access publishing via the Sage Choice program. This allows you to publish your article with a CC-BY license.

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IMAGES

  1. (PDF) Occupational therapy and return to work: a systematic literature

    research paper on occupational therapy

  2. (PDF) International Occupational Therapy Research Priorities

    research paper on occupational therapy

  3. Research Paper: Occupational Disease

    research paper on occupational therapy

  4. (PDF) Research and Reflection: Potential Impact on the Professional

    research paper on occupational therapy

  5. (PDF) Occupational Therapy and Evidence-Based Practice in Mental Health

    research paper on occupational therapy

  6. (PDF) Participation in Occupational Therapy Research: A Literature Review

    research paper on occupational therapy

VIDEO

  1. ENGL Occupational Research Issues Ernette W24

  2. #occupational therapy academy #occupationaltherapygoal #india #autism #viral #up #therapy

  3. Class 8 occupation

  4. How to Read A Research Paper

  5. NBCOT Credentials are Now Digital!

  6. Stony Brook School of Health Professions Occupational Therapy Doctoral Program

COMMENTS

  1. 100 Most Influential OT Research Articles • OT Potential

    Each year to determine the most influential research for us to review we generated a list the 100 most influential OT-related journal articles from the past 5 yeras. We team up with a research librarian to make this happen. For our 2024 list, we searched the Scopus database for articles published from 2019-2023 that had “ occupational therapy ...

  2. OTJR: Occupational Therapy Journal of Research: Sage Journals

    OTJR: Occupational Therapy Journal of Research is published quarterly by the American Occupational Therapy Foundation, Inc. This international peer-reviewed journal offers empirical and review articles to readers interested in factors of human … | View full journal description. This journal is a member of the Committee on Publication Ethics ...

  3. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy | American ...

    The American Journal of Occupational Therapy ( AJOT) affirms the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) across occupational therapy research, practice, and education. We've curated a DEI Collection of articles published in AJOT. We'll continue to add essential content to this collection to support AOTA members and the occupational ...

  4. American Journal of Occupational Therapy | AOTA

    An official publication of AOTA, the American Journal of Occupational Therapy (AJOT) is the premiere peer-reviewed journal for occupational therapy research. All AOTA members have access to AJOT as a member benefit. Nonmembers, institutions, and libraries can use the subscribe link below or purchase single articles and issues through the AJOT site.

  5. Effectiveness of Occupational Therapy Services in Mental ...

    National behavioral health care efforts have opened opportunities to reignite occupational therapy mental health practice and research. The profession’s person-centered and occupation-based practice fits well with the growing needs of people with serious mental illness (SMI) served in community-based settings.

  6. OJOT - The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy ...

    The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy. is a peer-reviewed, open-access journal with a mission to publish high quality articles that focus on applied research, practice, and education in the occupational therapy profession. See About this Journal for more information.

  7. Research-based occupational therapy education: An exploration ...

    Reviewer #1: Thank you for the opportunity to review this paper, which explores students’ and faculty members’ experiences with and perceptions of research-based occupational therapy education. The study method was described in detail and the analysis was conducted in line with the interpretative description methodology.

  8. OTJR: Occupational Therapy Journal of Research - AOTF

    OTJR: Occupational Therapy of Research will accept quantitative and qualitative research articles and systematic review papers that advance knowledge of occupation, and/or will lead to improving the lives of people at risk of being restricted from participating in activities and roles that have meaning to them. OTJR publishes data-driven ...

  9. OTJR: Occupational Therapy Journal of Research | SAGE ...

    OTJR is published quarterly by the American Occupational Therapy Foundation, Inc. This peer-reviewed journal is based in the United States and invites national and international submissions of empirical and review articles on factors of human participation and how such factors influence health and well-being. Content includes:

  10. British Journal of Occupational Therapy: Sage Journals

    The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) publishes peer-reviewed articles with international relevance that advance knowledge in research, practice, education, and policy in occupational therapy. The journal has been established since 1938, is … | View full journal description. This journal is a member of the Committee on ...