Research Priorities in Mental Health Occupational Therapy: A Study of Clinician Perspectives

Hitch & Lhuede (2015) full text summary PDF

For which topic were research priorities identified?

mental health occupational therapy

In which location was the research priority setting conducted?

Australia - Australia

Why was it conducted at all?

The evidence to support mental health occupational therapy has proliferated in the early years of this century, but this growth has tended to be organic rather than targeted. Previous efforts to identify research priorities in this area of practice are either out dated, or encompass discrete areas of practice.

What was the objective?

to identify priority areas for research in mental health occupational therapy from clinician's perspectives

What was the outcome?

a ranking list of 10 research topics

How long did the research prioritization take?

October 2014

Which methods were used to identify research priorities?


How were the priorities for research identified exactly?

Step 1: Delphi round 1: participants were asked to identify their top five research priorities and/or clinical questions and/or problems and issues in relation to each of the four dimensions of occupation: doing, being, becoming and belonging. Step 2: data processing: resulting in 207 unique responses. Step 3: Delphi round 2: participants were asked to rate each priority. Step 4: Delphi round 3: survey only included those items that had a median rating of extremely important in round 2, participants were asked to re-rate each item

Which stakeholders took part?

Occupational therapists. Delphi round 1: 42 participants. Delphi round 2: 42 participants. Delphi round 3: 29 participants.

How were stakeholders recruited?

A group of mental health occupational therapists who attended a professional development day focussed on research and evidence-based practice was recruited.

Were stakeholders actively involved or did they just participate?

Stakeholders were mere participants of the research prioritization process; they were not actively involved in the process.