Abstract

Although many authors advocate research involvement for occupational therapists involved in clinical practice, no formal studies existed of the personal, educational, and workplace environmental factors thought to affect therapists’ ability to integrate clinical research with practice. This exploratory, descriptive study surveyed 103 occupational therapists reporting work functions of both direct patient care and research. Major findings included: (a) workplace learning circumstances focusing on performance and application of clinical research were important for adopting a dual practice–research role, (b) research activities reflected the evolving character of the role, (c) administrative support and a personal commitment to research were critical for success, and (d) formal research courses were important, but so were informal discussions regarding application and problem solving. The findings have implications for university curricula, continuing education, and clinical environments.

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