Mariana D’Amico; Update on Productive Aging Research in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 2013, and Overview of Research Published 2009–2013. Am J Occup Ther 2014;68(6):e247-e260. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2014.013581.
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In light of the Centennial Vision charge of supporting practice through evidence, this article reviews productive aging research published in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy (AJOT) in 2013 and as a whole from 2009 to 2013. Thirteen such articles were published in 2013, consisting of 4 systematic reviews that identified effective occupational therapy interventions for older adults with low vision; 1 randomized controlled trial that examined changes in occupational therapists’ mental health practices with DVD training; and 8 descriptive articles addressing instrument development, practitioner decision making, patient management of medications, and effects of task activities on pain and participation levels. From 2009 to 2013, the quantity and quality of AJOT articles on productive aging increased; 63 articles were published, including 24 effectiveness studies, 14 basic research studies, 15 articles on instrument development and testing, 1 article linking occupational engagement and health, 6 articles on professional education, and 3 articles addressing professional questions.
Effectiveness studies supporting practice
Development and testing to establish reliability and validity of occupational therapy assessments
Correlational and descriptive studies that demonstrate linkages between occupational engagement and health
Basic research studies that provide information about disabilities and their impact on functional participation
Studies that answer important questions about topics related to the direction of the profession’s growth.
Use of specific assessments with older drivers
Use of specific assessments and rehabilitation techniques with older adults who have vision loss or low vision impairments
Use of routines to promote quality of life and healthy lifestyles for both community-dwelling older adults and adults with dementia or health challenges living in residential facilities
Attention to the psychosocial needs of older adults as part of routine practice.
Teaches students to be effective consumers and analyzers of journal articles,
Describes best practices for working with clients with dementia,
Addresses driving assessment and intervention,
Addresses low vision assessment and intervention,
Describes ways to create healthy environments using routines for both community-dwelling older adults and those in residential facilities, and
Provides instruction in the evaluation and intervention of the psychosocial needs of older adults.
Replication studies of occupational therapy interventions used with older adults;
Studies establishing the validity and reliability of occupational therapy assessment tools and other tools used in occupational therapy practice with older adults;
Basic research and qualitative studies that address occupation, occupational performance, and health of client populations to develop higher level effectiveness studies;
Continued development of new occupational therapy assessment tools that effectively assess occupational performance outcomes; and
Research directed at how occupational therapy practitioners’ decision making related to intervention informs education and practice.
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