Rondalyn Whitney, Claudia List Hilton; Intervention Effectiveness for Children and Youth. Am J Occup Ther 2013;67(6):e154-e165. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2013.008557.
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We reviewed 11 articles, including efficacy and effectiveness studies, addressing intervention effectiveness for children and youth published in 2012 in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy and organized them by level and type of research according to a framework adapted from the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. Compared with articles published in previous years, these studies showed improvement in their ability to guide practitioners to make evidence-based decisions by increasing understanding of the intervention’s pragmatic relevance and the extent to which it promotes participation in childhood and adolescent occupations. Studies’ evidence levels have increased along with efforts to increase scientific rigor. Intervention fidelity was included in several of the studies, but not consistently. Siblings and other family members were not examined, and none of the articles reviewed described longitudinal studies. Measures of client acceptability and cost–benefit analysis need more attention in future studies.
Basic and applied scientific studies related to skills, processes, and foundations for childhood and adolescent occupations
Factors that contribute to the success or failure of a specific frame of reference
Both qualitative and quantitative methodologies to address multiple facets of these factors
Efficacy studies that examine interventions (efficacy, effectiveness, outcomes development)
Theory development and development of conceptual models that promote integration of theory and practice
Empirical studies conducted in context
Translational research providing information on applications to practice, policy development, systems change, and program development
Roles and participation of parents, siblings, and other family members within family-centered services
Longitudinal studies of the participation of children with special needs in their daily lives as they transition through childhood and adolescence into adulthood
Studies that examine factors central to children, youth, and their families such as finding a friend, participating in community life, and procuring and maintaining jobs
Studies that examine the emotional and social costs of occupational deprivation and occupational injustice to children, youth, and their family, such as depression, alcohol and substance abuse, and suicide in disenfranchised youth, as well as to society.
Provide additional evidence for the efficacy of clinical practice
Test the reliability and validity of our assessment instruments
Examine how engagement in occupation can promote developmental milestones, health and wellness throughout the lifespan, and productive aging
Provide fundamental or basic research information regarding how specific disability experiences affect community and social participation—with the intent to ultimately use this information to develop clinical guidelines that can be tested for efficacy
Explore topical questions (i.e., current issues) whose answers will provide direction for the profession’s continued growth and evolution.
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