Situational analysis for informing the global strengthening of the occupational therapy workforce

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

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: Occupational Therapists are needed for meeting the health, rehabilitation, and occupational needs of the population worldwide, but there is no strategy for strengthening the occupational therapy workforce against a backdrop of an insufficient and inequitable supply worldwide.
Objective: To perform a situational assessment of occupational therapy workforce development and research toward informing a global human resources strategy for the occupational therapy workforce strengthening.
Method: A multi-methods design incorporating Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis based on scoping review findings, workforce development frameworks, and expert feedback.
Results: Strengths included identified workforce research trends, gaps, and findings. Weaknesses included a shortage of workforce research, lack of uniform and readily available workforce datasets, absence of workforce research programs, over-reliance on descriptive and non-experimental research, lack of research on workforce topics (e.g., diversity), and lack of labor market or economic analyses. Opportunities are the availability of guidance and tools for strengthening the health and rehabilitation workforce worldwide, and increased membership from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in the World Federation funding of occupational therapy workforce research, the lack of occupational therapists data on international datasets and studies, suboptimal educational capacity in LMICs, lack of professional regulation and uniform workforce data collection in many contexts, and a perceived lower priority
of this health workforce focused on health and wellbeing rather than medical outcomes.
Conclusion: This SWOT analysis identifies strengths and opportunities to be seized and weaknesses and threats to be addressed by development of a strategy for the global strengthening of the occupational therapy workforce.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Health Planning and Management
Early online date20 Dec 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Dec 2022

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