Clinical outcomes research from the occupational therapist's perspective

Occup Ther Int. 2002;9(2):145-66. doi: 10.1002/oti.162.


With increasing costs and scarcity of resources, occupational therapists need to embrace outcomes research to demonstrate the effectiveness of its clinical interventions. To explore clinicians' perspectives on clinical outcomes research a qualitative study was undertaken involving three in-depth group interviews with 15 occupational therapists from the South Western Sydney Area Health Service. Five broad themes permeated participants' perception: (a) defining the process, (b) factors that impact on participation in clinical outcomes research, (c) organizational influences, (d) the value of clinical outcomes research, and (e) potential partnerships with academics. Three conceptual categories are identified: knowledge and understanding about clinical outcomes research, clinicians' experience conducting or participating in clinical outcomes research and the relevance of clinical outcomes research to occupational therapy clinical practice. Similarity to findings in the international literature on occupational therapists' engagement in clinical research suggests that the findings from this small sample of Australian therapists are robust. The implications of the findings for continuing professional education programmes and clinical supervision are presented.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Humans
  • Occupational Therapy / organization & administration*
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care*