Importance: Underutilization of hospice occupational therapy may be attributable to a lack of evidence on efficacy.
Objective: To conduct a scoping review of occupational therapy outcome studies to ascertain how efficacy is captured in the literature.
Data Sources: PubMed, CINAHL, MEDLINE, Scopus, Directory of Open Access Journals, Web of Science, OT Search, and Google Scholar.
Study Selection and Data Collection: Search terms: hospice, palliative care, occupational therapy, rehabilitation, outcome measure, and assessment. Inclusion criteria: research studies in English, centered on adult hospice care, published between January 1997 and September 2017, and investigated occupational therapy efficacy with an outcome measure. Exclusion criteria: systematic reviews, participants not at terminal disease end stages, or intervention program reviews lacking differentiated occupational therapy outcomes.
Findings: Seven articles met the inclusion criteria. Findings include frequent use of noncontrolled, quasi-experimental, prospective research designs; a focus on occupational performance; and no generally accepted hospice occupational therapy outcome measure.
Conclusion and Relevance: Outcome measures of participation in end-of-life occupations and environmental influences on occupational engagement are needed to effectively support occupational therapy practice and research with people who are terminally ill.
What This Article Adds: Occupational therapy in end-of-life care is growing in complexity yet remains low in utilization. This review adds insights into current practice and future research foci for the profession.