BACKGROUND: Human Resources for Health (HRH) research informs the development of evidence-based, population-centered HRH policies and practices. Occupational therapists are key human resources for meeting the health, rehabilitation, and occupational needs of the population worldwide. Yet, the global status of the occupational therapy workforce research remains unchartered.
OBJECTIVES: This study protocol depicts the methods to map out and synthesize the occupational therapy workforce research worldwide.
METHODS: Six scientific-literature databases and key international institutional websites will be systematically searched, complemented by snowballing searches and recommendations from key global, regional, or national representatives of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists. Two independent reviewers will screen titles-and-abstracts and then full-texts against the eligibility criteria, e.g., 10 categories of workforce research. Educational research, non-empirical papers, and papers (or their summaries) not available in English, Spanish or Portuguese are excluded. Data extraction (e.g., methods, geographies, aims, key findings) will be conducted by one author and fully verified by another. The extracted data will be computed as well as subject to content analysis to provide quantitative map of the literature and of the contents addressed, e.g., per inclusion category.
CONCLUSION: The results of this review can inform wide consultation processes and strategic, concerted local and global developments of the occupational therapy workforce.