Birken M, Wenborn J & Connell C (2022) Randomised controlled trials of occupational therapy interventions for adults with a mental health condition or dementia: A systematic review of study methods and outcome measurement. British Journal of Occupational Therapy. https://doi.org/10.1177/03080226221086206
High-quality randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of interventions are essential for determining whether an intervention is effective. However, many RCTs that examine the effectiveness of occupational therapy interventions for adults with mental health conditions or dementia have methodological limitations that reduce confidence in their results. We aimed to systematically review the quality of methods and outcome measures used in RCTs of occupational therapy interventions for adults with a mental health condition or dementia. This will inform future research in this area and enable practitioners to appraise the evidence when selecting interventions.
We searched peer-reviewed English language publications from 2000 to 2021 in MEDLINE, PsycINFO, ASSIA, CINAHL and e-thos, and hand-searched 12 journals. We included papers that met pre-specified inclusion criteria, appraised quality using a validated tool and extracted data. We conducted a narrative synthesis.
Of thirty-three included papers, 26 reported full or pilot RCTs, two reported secondary analysis or secondary outcomes of included RCTs, three reported process evaluations and two reported economic evaluations. Methodological limitations were found in many studies and outcome measures varied in their psychometric quality.
High-quality RCTs of occupational therapy interventions are needed for adults with mental health conditions and dementia. Researchers should follow international guidelines for rigorously developing and evaluating interventions and reporting studies. Practitioners should critically apply RCT evidence when selecting occupational therapy interventions.
review; research methods; dementia; mental health
Output Status: Forthcoming/Available Online
British Journal of Occupational Therapy
|Publication date online||30/04/2022|
|Date accepted by journal||15/02/2022|