The importance of occupational therapy contributions to health services research

Elena M. Andresen, Janet J. Tang, Karen F. Barney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Health care delivery includes a backdrop of constrained resources and scrutiny of quality, benefits, and cost of services. The peer-reviewed evidence supporting the benefits of occupational therapy is therefore of considerable importance in the debate about what constitutes reimbursable therapies. This article identifies the scope of occupational therapy research articles in recent published literature. MEDLINE and CINAHL were searched for "occupational therapy" from January 1996 through October 2002. Articles were coded by content, journal, and country. Journal ratings for "impact" also were reviewed. A total of 3,391 articles met inclusion criteria and 868 (25.6%) were classified as research, among which more than half (55.0%) were published in occupational therapy journals. Within occupational therapy journals, 21.4% of scholarship identified as occupational therapy was classified as research compared to 42.9% of the articles in rehabilitation medicine journals. Occupational therapy scholarship is in danger of being omitted in the current debates on health care delivery, costs, and quality. More transdisciplinary research may be one avenue for expanding occupational therapy research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-116
Number of pages9
JournalOTJR Occupation, Participation and Health
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Health services research
  • Interdisciplinary recognition
  • Scholarship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Occupational Therapy


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