Barriers and strategies to increase research involvement of South African occupational therapists

Hanlie Pitout


Limited involvement in conducting and publishing research constitutes a threat to the occupational therapy profession due to the increasing demand for scientific evidence supporting interventions. This article reports the qualitative -aspect of a mixed methods study that aimed to explore the barriers to, and support for, research of occupational therapists in the South African context. Purposive sampling was used to identify 26 occupational therapists with varying levels of research involvement, to participate in four focus groups. A further twelve individual, semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants who had experience in publishing research. Deductive analysis was done. Four main themes emerged, namely need for research, training and qualifications, research process and publication process. Findings revealed that depending on the view and circumstances of the individual, factors influencing research involvement could be viewed either as a barrier or a support. South African occupational therapists need to contribute to evidence creation through coordinated research participation and publication. A national research strategy for occupational therapists is recommended.

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ISSN 0038-2337 (print), ISSN 2310-3833 (online)

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