Guidelines for Contributors to AJOT. Am J Occup Ther 2017;71(Supplement_2):7112430010p1-7106360010p9. doi: 10.5014/ajot.2017.716SGuide.
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© 2019 American Occupational Therapy Association
Incidence and prevalence of client factors (e.g., activity and participation, roles)
Patterns of occupational engagement, activity, and participation in various populations (e.g., how people spend their time)
Relationship of engagement in occupations to health and development across the lifespan
Physiological and psychological mechanisms of health and of conditions commonly encountered in occupational therapy practice
Studies of the effectiveness, efficacy, and effects of interventions and programs that fall within the scope of occupational therapy (i.e., clinical trials) as well as cost–benefit studies of such interventions and programs
Health services research
Health policy research relating to the facilitation of participation and healthy engagement
Studies establishing the psychometric properties of instruments
Pedagogy relating to the entry-level, postprofessional, or continuing education of occupational therapy practitioners; interprofessional education of health professionals in general may be considered as it relates to the education of occupational therapy practitioners
Manuscripts exploring timely topical or professional issues (The Issue Is articles). (Note that space for these articles is limited, and manuscripts may not be accepted for review if they cannot be published within a reasonable time frame; see “Information for Authors” at http://otjournal.net for updated information.)
Manualization of interventions
Descriptions of clinical trial protocols that do not include outcome data
Descriptions of clinical programs (i.e., articles that do not answer a research question)
Single-subject design studies and case series studies must have a sample size of at least 3 participants.
Articles describing research related to psychometric properties of translated assessment instruments must have evidence that the researchers used best practice in translating the instrument (i.e., language and transcultural translation and back-translation).
Manuscripts on psychometric properties of instruments that examine only one psychometric factor will be considered for publication only as a Brief Report and must meet the page limits for this type of article. If the manuscript describes the phases of the instrument’s development and at least one of the psychometric properties, it may be considered as a feature-length manuscript.
A research study in which one or more human subjects are prospectively assigned to one or more interventions (which may include placebo or other control) to evaluate the effects of those interventions on health-related biomedical or behavioral outcomes.
Trials that evaluate the effects, efficacy, or effectiveness of educational methodologies and techniques for occupational therapy practitioners or for continuing education
Trials that do not have client health or behavioral factors as outcomes.
The standard error of measurement (SEM) of the quantitative outcome measures (Page, 2014). The article must either discuss how the changes on the outcome measures after intervention compare with the outcome assessments’ SEMs or provide the number of participants who exceeded and did not exceed the SEM for each group. Only changes exceeding the SEM can be considered true change and not just measurement error. If SEMs have not been determined for a particular outcome measure, authors should discuss what the field commonly considers the minimally detectible change for that measure.
For randomized controlled trials (RCTs), a primary outcome and a primary testing time for that outcome (if there is more than one postintervention testing time) so that ratings of trial quality that include retention can be completed. It is common for study retention to be high at immediate postintervention testing but for participant attrition to occur over time. When a primary endpoint has not been identified, it is not clear how to score the study’s quality related to the retention time. Testing differences at other testing times is acceptable but will be considered secondary outcomes.
Effect size and Fragility Index. P values do not indicate the size or robustness of the effect. It is possible for results that have little clinical or real-world significance to achieve statistical significance. Therefore, when appropriate, authors need to include the following information in efficacy trials (i.e., Phase 2, small RCTs; two-group nonrandomized trials; and one-group pretest–posttest trials) and effectiveness trials (i.e., Phase 3, medium and large RCTs):
Qualitative studies should follow the COnsolidated criteria for REporting Qualitative research (COREQ; Tong, Sainsbury, & Craig, 2007; http://www.equator-network.org/reporting-guidelines/coreq/).
N-of-1 studies (single subject or case series) should follow the Single-Case Reporting guideline In BEhavioural interventions (SCRIBE; Tate et al., 2016) guidelines for single-case research in the behavioral sciences.
Observational studies should follow the STrengthening the Reporting of OBservational studies in Epidemiology guidelines (STROBE; von Elm et al., 2007; http://strobe-statement.org/).
Diagnostic (identification of specific impairments or occupational problems) studies should follow the STAndards for the Reporting of Diagnostic accuracy studies (STARD; Bossuyt et al., 2015; http://www.stard-statement.org/).
If the study tests the effects of a particular intervention, then mention what those effects might mean for clinical practice. Do not include statements about general occupational therapy practice unless tested in the study.
Do not include statements related to a particular assessment approach if the study did not test assessment practices.
If the study provides confirmatory evidence, then use wording such as “this study confirms previous work that. . . .” or “the results offer further evidence that. . . .”
If the study suggests a promising type or amount of service that is not feasible as a result of current health care or reimbursement policies, it may be more appropriate to suggest that practitioners advocate for changes in policies rather than provide that service.
For pilot or feasibility studies, the only statements that can be made are as to whether the intervention may have potential to facilitate benefits if larger studies show similar results. In addition, the following statement may be made: “If practitioners choose to implement this approach clinically, they need to carefully document treatment content, client responses to the treatment, and changes in client functioning (or occupational engagement) from start to termination of treatment.”
Journal Article (hard copy or not available online):
Dunton, W. R., Jr. (1926). An historical note. Occupational Therapy and Rehabilitation, 5, 427–439.
Journal Article (online version, with DOI):
Arbesman, M., & Lieberman, D. (2011). Methodology for the systematic reviews on occupational therapy for adults with Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 65, 490–496. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2011.002576
Journal Article (online version, no DOI):
Gram, M., & Smed, K. (2011). We can drink our coffee more slowly: Discursive uses of age in relation to holiday consumption—Examples among Danish and German mature travellers. E-Journal of Applied Psychology, 7(1), 2–7. Retrieved from http://ojs.lib.swin.edu.au/index.php/ejap/article/view/229/241
Book With Corporate Author and Author as Publisher:
American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.
World Health Organization. (2001). International classification of functioning, disability and health. Geneva: Author.
Book With Author(s):
Frank, G. (2000). Venus on wheels: Two decades of dialogue on disability, biography, and being female in America. Los Angeles: University of California Press.
Law, M. (Ed.). (1998). Client-centered occupational therapy. Thorofare, NJ: Slack.
Chapter in Edited Book:
Case-Smith, J. (2010). Evidence-based practice in occupational therapy for children with an autism spectrum disorder. In H. M. Kuhaneck & R. Watling (Eds.), Autism: A comprehensive occupational therapy approach (3rd ed., pp. 701–742). Bethesda, MD: AOTA Press.
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