Type of Findings Generated by the Occupational Therapy Workforce Research Worldwide: Scoping Review and Content Analysis

Tiago S. Jesus, Karthik Mani, Claudia von Zweck, Sureshkumar Kamalakannan, Sutanuka Bhattacharjya, Ritchard Ledgerd

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Occupational therapists are needed to meet the health and occupational needs of the global population, but we know little about the type of findings generated by occupational therapy workforce research conducted worldwide. We aim to synthesize these findings and their range of content to inform future investigations. A scoping review with content analysis was used. Six scientific databases, websites of official institutions, snowballing, and key informants were used for searches. Two independent reviewers took selection decisions against the eligibility criteria published a priori in the review protocol. Of the 1246 unique references detected, 57 papers were included for the last 25 years. A total of 18 papers addressed issues of attractiveness and retention, often in Australia, and 14 addressed the issues of supply, demand, and distribution, often in the US. Only these two categories generated subtopics. Many workforce issues were rarely addressed as a main topic (e.g., race/ethnic representation). Cross-national, cross-regional, or cross-professional studies generated more actionable findings. Overall, we found few discernable trends, minimal evidence of research programs, and various gaps in content coverage or in the use of contemporary research approaches. There is a need for a coordinated strengthening of the occupational therapy workforce research worldwide.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5307
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number9
StatePublished - May 1 2022


  • health personnel
  • health workforce
  • human resources for health
  • occupational therapists
  • rehabilitation
  • review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pollution
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


Dive into the research topics of 'Type of Findings Generated by the Occupational Therapy Workforce Research Worldwide: Scoping Review and Content Analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this