OTBS 46500: Research Methods in Occupational Therapy


Portney, L. G., & Watkins, M. P. (2009). Foundations of clinical research: Applications to practice. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.

Kielhofner, G. (2006). Research in occupational therapy: Methods of inquiry for enhancing practice. Philadelphia, PA: FA Davis.

American Psychological Association (2009). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association, 6th ed. Washington, DC: American Psychological  Association.

Defining Your Research Question

  • Determine and define the clinical problem
·       Frame this in a question format as it will help you determine the key concepts: population, intervention and outcome.
  • Generate a list of keywords using PICO
·       Patient or Population (what is the disorder or disease)
·       Intervention
·       Comparison (if any)
·       Outcome (what you are hoping to assess)

Best Bets

A comprehensive journal index to over 4,600 biomedical journals, with links to some full-text.  This is the cadillac of all health and research databases. Be sure to use the many helpful limiters such as: gender, age, publication type and clinical queries.
The Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) indexes nursing and allied health journals back to 1982, with links to some full-text. This is a great tool for finding education, health promotion, and psychosocial health articles along with research articles. Be sure to use the many limiters such as: gender, age, publication type and clinical queries.
A comprehensive database that provides references to some full-text for journal articles, books, and book chapters. Subjects include psychology and psychological aspects of  many related disciplines.
ERIC (Ebsco interface)
The premier education database including bibliographic citations, abstracts, and some full-text for journal articles, research and technical reports, conference papers and proceedings, program descriptions, teaching guides, and lesson plans.
OTseeker is a database that contains abstracts of systematic reviews and randomized controlled trials relevant to occupational therapy.
CAM on PubMed
Search PubMed's Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) subset.

Search Strategies

Professor Wilkinson and Professor Long

Search Strategies
A. Article Quick Search (AQS)
1. Autis* OR disabled child* or asperger disorder* OR child behavior disorder* cognition disorders OR child development disorder*
2. Parent* OR Caregiver OR mother* OR father*
3. Stress OR psychological well being OR depression OR Coping OR well-being OR fatigue OR psychological adaptation OR quality of life OR self efficacy OR social support

1. Clinical Reasoning OR clinical competence OR problem solving OR decision making OR Clinical decision making OR learning 
2. college OR young adult OR universit* or student* or "college student*" or "nursing student*" or "occupational therapy student*" or "medical student*" 
3. female OR wom*n

C. AQS -- but might want to focus on Medline, CINAHL
1. HIV OR HIV Infection*
2. South Africa
3. Develop a third concept. Here are some ideas: program evaluation OR health promotion OR interventions OR statistics OR stress OR depression OR caregivers OR epidemiology OR mortality 

D. AQS -- but might want to focus on Medline, CINHAL, Psychinfo
1. Autis* or cognition disorders or asperger disorder* or child development disorder*
2. sensation or sensory integration or perception or sensory processing or sensation disorders or sensory motor integration 

Search Strategies

Professor Gitlow

"assistive technolog*"
"cognitive disabilit*" or  "problem solving" or "attention span" or dementia or "developmental disabilit*" or memory or "intellectual disabilit*" or " traumatic brain injury"