Limitations and Recommendations for Advancing the Occupational Therapy Workforce Research Worldwide: Scoping Review and Content Analysis of the Literature

World Federation of Occupational Therapists, Tiago S. Jesus*, Karthik Mani, Ritchard Ledgerd, Sureshkumar Kamalakannan, Sutanuka Bhattacharjya, Claudia von Zweck

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Occupational therapy workforce research can help determine whether occupational therapists exist in sufficient supply, are equitably distributed, and meet competency standards. Advancing the value of occupational therapy workforce research requires an understanding of the limitations and recommendations identified by these investigations. This scoping review and content analysis synthesizes the study limitations and recommendations reported by the occupational therapy research worldwide. Two independent reviews included 57 papers from the past 25 years. Stated limitations included: focus on cross-sectional studies with small and convenience samples; participants from single settings or regions; local markets or preferences not specified; focus on self-reported data and intentions (rather than behaviors or occurrences); challenges in aggregating or synthesizing findings from descriptive data; lack of statistical adjustment for testing multiple associations; and the lack of detailed, up-to-date, and accessible workforce data for continuous monitoring and secondary research. Stated recommendations included: strengthening routine workforce data collection; developing longitudinal studies that include interventions (e.g., recruitment or retention packages); developing context-sensitive comparisons; studying the impact on ultimate outcomes; promoting nation-wide, coordinated workforce plans and requirements; and fostering international coalitions for workforce research and developments at scale. These study limitations and recommendations reported by the literature must be considered in the design of a local and global occupational therapy workforce research agenda.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7327
Number of pages14
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Volume19
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2022

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