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South African Journal of Occupational Therapy

On-line version ISSN 2310-3833
Print version ISSN 0038-2337


PITOUT, Hanlie. Barriers and strategies to increase research involvement of South African occupational therapists. S. Afr. j. occup. ther. [online]. 2014, vol.44, n.2, pp.17-21. ISSN 2310-3833.

Limited involvement in conducting and publishing research constitutes a threat to the occupational therapy profession. This article reports on the qualitative phase of a mixed methods study that aimed to explore the barriers to, and support for, South African occupational therapy research. Purposive sampling was used to identify 26 occupational therapists, with varying levels of research involvement, to participate in four focus groups. A further 12 individual, semi-structured interviews were conducted with participants with research publishing experience. Inductive reasoning identified four main themes: 1) challenges to research; 2) research education and motivation; 3) research process; and 4) research output. Factors influencing research involvement could be viewed either as a barrier or a support depending on an individual's view and circumstances. A need for both academic and clinical research, an occupational therapy research data base, scientific evidence, more knowledge and use of evidence based practice, more research skills development, streamlining the process, and more collaborative research was identified. South African occupational therapists should contribute to evidence creation through coordinated research participation and publication. A national research strategy is needed to address the identified barriers.

Keywords : Research evidence based practice; research barriers.

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