Jane Case-Smith, Carol A. Powell; Research Literature in Occupational Therapy, 2001–2005. Am J Occup Ther 2008;62(4):480-486. doi: 10.5014/ajot.62.4.480.
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© 2018 American Occupational Therapy Association
One method to determine trends in occupational therapy research is to survey the literature published in occupational therapy journals. This study describes the types and topics of articles published in five prominent occupational therapy journals over a 5-year span. Feature articles published between 2001 and 2005 were analyzed to determine the types of articles and research and subject areas. The percentage of research articles published between 2001 and 2005 increased from 65% to 78% of all articles published and is higher than previous reports. More than 70% of the research articles used designs that substantially contribute to the evidence base for occupational therapy (defined by Kielhofner, Hammel, Finlayson, Helfrich, & Taylor  as correlational–comparison, experimental, qualitative, and meta-analysis). Of the research articles, 60% addressed pediatric, physical disability, and rehabilitation topics. The 5-year period showed a trend of increasing frequency of geriatric and pediatric topics in research reports. Scholars should emphasize research designs that build the evidence for occupational therapy approaches and practices and focus on research topics of highest value to society.
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