Abstract

PURPOSE. We conducted a systematic review examining the extent to which pediatric intervention research recently published in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy reflects occupational therapy’s holistic occupation-based tenets.

METHOD. We surveyed 10 systematic reviews and analyzed 38 single effectiveness studies for intervention approach, type, level of environmental targeting, level of occupational task and participation practice, and measures used.

RESULTS. Of the 38 single effectiveness studies, 12 (32%) explicitly incorporated both environmental targets of intervention and practice of complex or in vivo occupational tasks, with steady increases during the 2009–2013 time frame.

CONCLUSION. In the area of children and youth, occupational therapy is making steady gains in reflecting and demonstrating the effectiveness of the profession’s holistic, occupation-based tenets. Occupational therapy researchers must be mindful to ensure that despite the reductionist nature of intervention research, interventions reflect the profession’s holistic understanding of the interplay between the child, environment, and occupations.

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