Open Access
Brief Report  |   July 2014
Research Opportunities in the Area of Adults With Serious Mental Illness
Article Information
Evidence-Based Practice / Mental Health / Research Opportunities
Brief Report   |   July 2014
Research Opportunities in the Area of Adults With Serious Mental Illness
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2014, Vol. 68, 485-486. doi:10.5014/ajot.2014.684001
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, July/August 2014, Vol. 68, 485-486. doi:10.5014/ajot.2014.684001
Abstract

The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) Evidence-Based Practice Project has developed a table summarizing the research opportunities on adults with serious mental illness. The table provides an overview of the state of current available evidence on interventions within the scope of occupational therapy practice and is based on the systematic reviews from AOTA's Occupational Therapy Practice Guidelines Series. Researchers, students, and clinicians can use this information in developing innovative research to answer important questions within the occupational therapy field.

Planning a research project requires consideration of many factors. Level of interest and knowledge in a specific area, access to appropriate populations of participants, support of mentors and other researchers, and funding availability all help determine the focus of a future project. An additional component to be considered is whether adequate, up-to-date research has already been completed on a topic; if sufficient evidence is available in a given core area, this area might not be the best choice for another research project.
The best research topic may be one in which either little research has been done or the research to date is insufficient, inconclusive, or mixed. In addition, when research conducted to date provides a low level of evidence and is of limited quality, additional high-quality research in the area is needed.
The “Research Opportunities Table on Adults With Serious Mental Illness” provides an overview of the state of current available evidence on interventions within the scope of occupational therapy practice. The table is based on the systematic reviews from the Occupational Therapy Practice Guidelines Series developed by the American Occupational Therapy Association Evidence-Based Practice Project. The table lists specific interventions and indicates either that the evidence is sufficient to support the intervention or that moderate, mixed, or few studies support the intervention and therefore it is a priority research area. Please refer to the Occupational Therapy Practice Guidelines for Adults With Serious Mental Illness (Brown, 2012) and the American Journal of Occupational Therapy Special Issue on the Effectiveness of Occupational Therapy Services in Mental Health Practice (Gutman, 2011) for more information on the topic area and the systematic review process.
This table also is posted online for researchers to use to inform the occupational therapy community about their work. The table is linked to Google Drive and offers a place for researchers to include information on recently completed and ongoing research. It is hoped that this information will make the research planning process easier, minimize duplication of research efforts, and stimulate discussions among researchers with similar interests, which can then facilitate the creation of research networks and multisite studies. Researchers, students, and clinicians can use this information in developing innovative research to answer important questions within the occupational therapy field. To add current or ongoing research to the table, visit http://www.aota.org/researchopportunitiestables.
Researchers are also encouraged to enter their projects into AOTA’s Researcher Database at http://myaota.aota.org/research/. This database provides AOTA with information such as relevant clinical settings and populations, International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health level (World Health Organization, 2001), funder (if any), and key words to help guide research advocacy and policy initiatives.
Research Opportunities Table on Adults With Serious Mental Illness
Research Opportunities Table on Adults With Serious Mental Illness×
ThemeSpecific InterventionStrength of Evidence
Areas of Occupation
WorkSupported employment or Individual Placement and Support (IPS) programs to improve work placement in competitive employment and other vocational outcomes, particularly programs with high fidelity to the IPS modelResearch sufficient
Supported employment programs to improve nonvocational outcomesPriority research area
EducationSupported education programs to meet postsecondary education goalsPriority research area
Social participationLife and social skills training, with extended training in natural environmentsPriority research area
Ability to generalize life and social skills training from one environment or one skill area to anotherPriority research area
Instrumental activities of daily livingSkills training plus health care managementPriority research area
Grocery shopping group to improve grocery shopping skillsPriority research area
Parenting skills programPriority research area
Lifestyle interventions to improve health behaviors related to obesity and metabolic syndromeResearch sufficient
Physical activity, exercise, and outdoor activities to improve symptoms of depression and anxietyPriority research area
Money management trainingPriority research area
Performance Skills
Cognitive skillsCognitive remediation to improve life skills tied to real-life practicePriority research area
Cognitive skills training in conjunction with supported employmentPriority research area
Social cognition and problem-solving trainingPriority research area
Cognitive training to improve cognitive skillsPriority research area
Cognitive remediation to improve life skills without real-life practicePriority research area
Emotional regulation skillsEmotional regulation and social skills training in conjunction with supported employmentPriority research area
Activity group to improve social interaction skillsPriority research area
Stress management in conjunction with a job programPriority research area
Performance Patterns
RoutinesInterpersonal and social rhythm therapy to establish and maintain routines for people with bipolar disorderPriority research area
RolesClient-centered role development program for the development of task and interpersonal skills within social rolesPriority research area
Context and environmentEnvironmental supports to improve adaptive functioningResearch sufficient
Cooking skills training in both clinic and home environmentPriority research area
In-home employment program to prepare for community-based employmentPriority research area
Activity demandsUse of a work behavior inventory to provide work-related feedback in combination with supported employmentPriority research area
Research Opportunities Table on Adults With Serious Mental Illness
Research Opportunities Table on Adults With Serious Mental Illness×
ThemeSpecific InterventionStrength of Evidence
Areas of Occupation
WorkSupported employment or Individual Placement and Support (IPS) programs to improve work placement in competitive employment and other vocational outcomes, particularly programs with high fidelity to the IPS modelResearch sufficient
Supported employment programs to improve nonvocational outcomesPriority research area
EducationSupported education programs to meet postsecondary education goalsPriority research area
Social participationLife and social skills training, with extended training in natural environmentsPriority research area
Ability to generalize life and social skills training from one environment or one skill area to anotherPriority research area
Instrumental activities of daily livingSkills training plus health care managementPriority research area
Grocery shopping group to improve grocery shopping skillsPriority research area
Parenting skills programPriority research area
Lifestyle interventions to improve health behaviors related to obesity and metabolic syndromeResearch sufficient
Physical activity, exercise, and outdoor activities to improve symptoms of depression and anxietyPriority research area
Money management trainingPriority research area
Performance Skills
Cognitive skillsCognitive remediation to improve life skills tied to real-life practicePriority research area
Cognitive skills training in conjunction with supported employmentPriority research area
Social cognition and problem-solving trainingPriority research area
Cognitive training to improve cognitive skillsPriority research area
Cognitive remediation to improve life skills without real-life practicePriority research area
Emotional regulation skillsEmotional regulation and social skills training in conjunction with supported employmentPriority research area
Activity group to improve social interaction skillsPriority research area
Stress management in conjunction with a job programPriority research area
Performance Patterns
RoutinesInterpersonal and social rhythm therapy to establish and maintain routines for people with bipolar disorderPriority research area
RolesClient-centered role development program for the development of task and interpersonal skills within social rolesPriority research area
Context and environmentEnvironmental supports to improve adaptive functioningResearch sufficient
Cooking skills training in both clinic and home environmentPriority research area
In-home employment program to prepare for community-based employmentPriority research area
Activity demandsUse of a work behavior inventory to provide work-related feedback in combination with supported employmentPriority research area
×
Acknowledgments
AOTA acknowledges the work of Matthew Bernardo, Stacia Matthews, and Melissa Stutzbach, who participated in the development of the Research Opportunities tables while at AOTA in Bethesda, MD. This work is based in part on the American Journal of Occupational Therapy Special Issue on the Effectiveness of Occupational Therapy Services in Mental Health Practice (Gutman, 2011) and the Occupational Therapy Practice Guidelines for Adults With Serious Mental Illness (Brown, 2012), all from the AOTA Evidence-Based Practice Project.
Brown, C. (2012). Occupational therapy practice guidelines for adults with serious mental illness. Bethesda, MD: AOTA Press.
Brown, C. (2012). Occupational therapy practice guidelines for adults with serious mental illness. Bethesda, MD: AOTA Press.×
Gutman, S. (Ed.). (2011). Effectiveness of occupational therapy services in mental health practice [Special issue]. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 653. http://dx/doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2011.001339
Gutman, S. (Ed.). (2011). Effectiveness of occupational therapy services in mental health practice [Special issue]. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 653. http://dx/doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2011.001339×
World Health Organization. (2001). International classification of functioning, disability and health. Geneva: Author.
World Health Organization. (2001). International classification of functioning, disability and health. Geneva: Author.×
Research Opportunities Table on Adults With Serious Mental Illness
Research Opportunities Table on Adults With Serious Mental Illness×
ThemeSpecific InterventionStrength of Evidence
Areas of Occupation
WorkSupported employment or Individual Placement and Support (IPS) programs to improve work placement in competitive employment and other vocational outcomes, particularly programs with high fidelity to the IPS modelResearch sufficient
Supported employment programs to improve nonvocational outcomesPriority research area
EducationSupported education programs to meet postsecondary education goalsPriority research area
Social participationLife and social skills training, with extended training in natural environmentsPriority research area
Ability to generalize life and social skills training from one environment or one skill area to anotherPriority research area
Instrumental activities of daily livingSkills training plus health care managementPriority research area
Grocery shopping group to improve grocery shopping skillsPriority research area
Parenting skills programPriority research area
Lifestyle interventions to improve health behaviors related to obesity and metabolic syndromeResearch sufficient
Physical activity, exercise, and outdoor activities to improve symptoms of depression and anxietyPriority research area
Money management trainingPriority research area
Performance Skills
Cognitive skillsCognitive remediation to improve life skills tied to real-life practicePriority research area
Cognitive skills training in conjunction with supported employmentPriority research area
Social cognition and problem-solving trainingPriority research area
Cognitive training to improve cognitive skillsPriority research area
Cognitive remediation to improve life skills without real-life practicePriority research area
Emotional regulation skillsEmotional regulation and social skills training in conjunction with supported employmentPriority research area
Activity group to improve social interaction skillsPriority research area
Stress management in conjunction with a job programPriority research area
Performance Patterns
RoutinesInterpersonal and social rhythm therapy to establish and maintain routines for people with bipolar disorderPriority research area
RolesClient-centered role development program for the development of task and interpersonal skills within social rolesPriority research area
Context and environmentEnvironmental supports to improve adaptive functioningResearch sufficient
Cooking skills training in both clinic and home environmentPriority research area
In-home employment program to prepare for community-based employmentPriority research area
Activity demandsUse of a work behavior inventory to provide work-related feedback in combination with supported employmentPriority research area
Research Opportunities Table on Adults With Serious Mental Illness
Research Opportunities Table on Adults With Serious Mental Illness×
ThemeSpecific InterventionStrength of Evidence
Areas of Occupation
WorkSupported employment or Individual Placement and Support (IPS) programs to improve work placement in competitive employment and other vocational outcomes, particularly programs with high fidelity to the IPS modelResearch sufficient
Supported employment programs to improve nonvocational outcomesPriority research area
EducationSupported education programs to meet postsecondary education goalsPriority research area
Social participationLife and social skills training, with extended training in natural environmentsPriority research area
Ability to generalize life and social skills training from one environment or one skill area to anotherPriority research area
Instrumental activities of daily livingSkills training plus health care managementPriority research area
Grocery shopping group to improve grocery shopping skillsPriority research area
Parenting skills programPriority research area
Lifestyle interventions to improve health behaviors related to obesity and metabolic syndromeResearch sufficient
Physical activity, exercise, and outdoor activities to improve symptoms of depression and anxietyPriority research area
Money management trainingPriority research area
Performance Skills
Cognitive skillsCognitive remediation to improve life skills tied to real-life practicePriority research area
Cognitive skills training in conjunction with supported employmentPriority research area
Social cognition and problem-solving trainingPriority research area
Cognitive training to improve cognitive skillsPriority research area
Cognitive remediation to improve life skills without real-life practicePriority research area
Emotional regulation skillsEmotional regulation and social skills training in conjunction with supported employmentPriority research area
Activity group to improve social interaction skillsPriority research area
Stress management in conjunction with a job programPriority research area
Performance Patterns
RoutinesInterpersonal and social rhythm therapy to establish and maintain routines for people with bipolar disorderPriority research area
RolesClient-centered role development program for the development of task and interpersonal skills within social rolesPriority research area
Context and environmentEnvironmental supports to improve adaptive functioningResearch sufficient
Cooking skills training in both clinic and home environmentPriority research area
In-home employment program to prepare for community-based employmentPriority research area
Activity demandsUse of a work behavior inventory to provide work-related feedback in combination with supported employmentPriority research area
×