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Research Article  |   October 1998
The National Occupational Therapy Practice Analysis: Findings and Implications for Competence
Author Affiliations
  • Winnie Dunn, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, is Professor and Chair, Occupational Therapy Education, University of Kansas Medical Center, 3033 Robinson, 3901 Rainbow Boulevard, Kansas City, Kansas 66160-7602, and Chair, Research Advisory Committee, National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy
  • Elizabeth Cada, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Associate Professor and Chair, Occupational Therapy Education, Governor’s State University, University Park, Illinois, and Chair, Certification Exam Development Committee, National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy
Article Information
Education of OTs and OTAs / Special Issue on Professional Competence
Research Article   |   October 1998
The National Occupational Therapy Practice Analysis: Findings and Implications for Competence
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, October 1998, Vol. 52, 721-728. doi:10.5014/ajot.52.9.721
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, October 1998, Vol. 52, 721-728. doi:10.5014/ajot.52.9.721
Abstract

Objective. This article reports some of the findings from a national study of occupational therapy practice conducted by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) as part of its fiduciary responsibility to ensure that its entry-level certification examination is formulated on the basis of current practice.

Method. The NBCOT developed a survey with input from approximately 200 occupational therapy leaders and then used it to solicit information about current practice from 4,000 occupational therapists and 3,000 occupational therapy assistants. The sample included geographical location, experience level, and practice area distributions.

Results. Approximately 50% of the sample responded to the survey, Data indicate similarities and differences in occupational therapist and occupational therapy assistant practice (e.g., occupational therapists spend more time conducting evaluations, planning interventions, and supervising, whereas occupational therapy assistants spend more time providing interventions), an increased emphasis on population-based services (e.g., serving a business or industry rather than an individual worker), and an emphasis on occupation as a core knowledge base for practice. From a continuing competency perspective, the data can be useful to the profession; we can plan continuing education to address topics that practitioners have indicated are critical to their practice.

Conclusion. The findings will be useful for revising the entry-level certification examination and may guide thinking about the parameters of continuing competence because the responses represent a cross-section of the profession.