Abstract

Nearly 50 million Americans report some level of disability in activities of daily living or instrumental activities of daily living. Public health officials advocate for a fresh perspective on disability by considering disability through an epidemiological approach. Should occupational therapists perform this research, and what are the benefits for our profession if we do? This article advocates for enhancing our research knowledge base by including an epidemiological perspective in our research design. The benefits to occupational therapy of this research include (1) increased understanding of the extent and nature of occupational performance disability, (2) advancement of the scope and depth of research for prevention and intervention programs, and (3) improved visibility of the profession as informants for public health policy. Suggestions for preparing researchers to perform these studies and students and practitioners to interpret the studies are provided.

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