Duncan E, Munro K & Nicol MM (2003) Research priorities in forensic occupational therapy. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 66 (2), pp. 55-64. http://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/cot/bjot/2003/00000066/00000002/art00003
National research priorities have been developed and published by the College of Occupational Therapists (Ilott and White 2001). Such an exercise, however, cannot provide the specific research priorities of a particular area of practice. A questionnaire survey was undertaken to ascertain the specific research priorities of forensic occupational therapists. The survey had three parts: determining research priorities, examining outcome measures and exploring the use of protocol-driven group work. Three specific research priorities were clearly defined by part one of the survey: the development of appropriate outcome measures, the development of rigorous and effective group-work programmes and the development of effective risk assessment tools. The nominal group technique was used in order to triangulate the data. The survey also examined the participants' use of outcome measures: a high number of the participants (62%, 44/71) stated that they used outcome measures in practice. The participants' responses to the third aspect of the survey, regarding the use of protocol-driven groups, were more varied. The majority of the groups reported by the participants were 'home grown', with little research base underpinning their implementation. The methodological weaknesses of undertaking such a survey are examined. The paper concludes that having identified clinicians' priorities in forensic occupational therapy research, the challenge is how best to gather robust evidence for practice.
British Journal of Occupational Therapy: Volume 66, Issue 2