Importance: Depressive and anxiety symptoms across physical disability inpatient rehabilitation (IPR) patient groups are well documented and negatively affect functional recovery. The strategies within the occupational therapy scope of practice to address these symptoms in IPR are unclear.
Objective: To determine what interventions within the occupational therapy scope of practice have been used to address depressive and anxiety symptoms in IPR and to determine intervention efficacy.
Data Sources: Nine databases for all publication years were searched (PubMed, Scopus, Embase, Web of Science, PsycINFO, Cochrane Library, AgeLine, OTseeker, and CINAHL).
Study Selection and Data Collection: Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) guidelines were used for abstracting data and assessing quality. Included articles were peer reviewed, based in the United States, in English, controlled clinical trials or randomized controlled trials, in the IPR setting, and within the occupational therapy scope of practice. Two reviewers independently screened articles, with disagreements resolved by consensus.
Findings: Five of 8,082 articles met inclusion criteria. Diagnoses included stroke (n = 1), traumatic brain injury (n = 1), spinal cord injury (n = 1), and musculoskeletal conditions (n = 2). Results are discussed among four categories: study design and outcome variables, intervention type, intervention intensity, and intervention efficacy.
Conclusions and Relevance: Limited, moderate-quality evidence exists within the occupational therapy scope of practice for addressing depressive and anxiety symptoms in the physical disability IPR setting. Interventions primarily included cognitive and behavioral strategies. Further research among diverse patient populations is needed to support occupational therapy practitioners in facilitating client participation and functioning.
What This Article Adds: This systematic review provides an evaluation of the evidence within the occupational therapy scope of practice to address depressive and anxiety symptoms within the physical disability IPR setting. This research can support occupational therapy practitioners to comprehensively address physical and mental health for participation in IPR.