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Research Article  |   January 2008
State of the Occupational Therapy Workforce: Results of a National Study
Author Affiliations
  • Janet M. Powell, PhD, OTR/L, is Associate Professor, Division of Occupational Therapy, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA 98195; jmpowell@u.washington.edu
  • Elizabeth M. Kanny, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Associate Professor and Head, Division of Occupational Therapy, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle
  • Marcia A. Ciol, PhD, is Research Associate Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle
Article Information
Professional Issues / Professional Issues
Research Article   |   January 2008
State of the Occupational Therapy Workforce: Results of a National Study
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January/February 2008, Vol. 62, 97-105. doi:10.5014/ajot.62.1.97
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, January/February 2008, Vol. 62, 97-105. doi:10.5014/ajot.62.1.97
Abstract

OBJECTIVE. This study determined the current status of the occupational therapy workforce in the United States with a demand-based report using current job data.

METHOD. A 31-question survey was sent to rehabilitation administrators and managers from a proportional random sample of 556 facilities that hire occupational therapy practitioners in 29 states. Data were collected from November 2005 to February 2006 using structured mailing and follow-up procedures.

RESULTS. The response rate was 55%. The vacancy rate was 8.9% for occupational therapists and 7.7% for occupational therapy assistants. Forty-five percent of respondents predicted an increase in occupational therapy positions in the next 2 years, and 30% predicted an increase in occupational therapy assistant positions. Sixty-seven percent reported difficulty hiring occupational therapists, and 62% reported difficulty hiring occupational therapy assistants.

DISCUSSION. This study identifies a serious shortage of occupational therapy practitioners at a time when predictions of workforce demands continue to grow.