The importance of research in the rehabilitation fields, including occupational therapy, has been widely recognized in the past decade. The production of credible research literature has received high priority as occupational therapy strives to achieve professional status within the hierarchy of rehabilitation service providers. To accomplish this goal, research that establishes a scientific basis for therapy must be produced, and this research must be integrated with clinical practice.
Occupational therapy appears to be making progress in producing research literature related to clinical practice; however, the issue of research utilization has remained largely unexplored. This paper discusses methods of applying research findings and procedures in practice environments and explores some issues related to research utilization. Research utilization is viewed as a complex process involving multiple components related to individual decision making, theory development, and the documentation of clinical practice.