In the spring of 2017, AOTF began a series of Planning Grant Collectives; these workshops will bring together researchers to plan future studies in the field.
The first collective focused on promoting research relevant to occupational therapy's role in mental health care. Supported by a generous donation from Bonita Kraft and Florence Stattel, this planning grant collective took place on June 19-21, 2017.
A select group of twenty-six occupational therapy researchers, psychologists, social workers, health policy specialist and others, representing mental health professionals from the U.S. and Canada gathered to establish several research teams in order to generate and worked on specific research projects together. Several funding agencies (NIMH, NCMRR, NIDILRR) were invited, both as a way to identify potential funding opportunities and as a way to educate the agencies about the focus of occupational therapy.
Three groups were formed and agreed to pursue the following projects:
Group 1: Action over Inertia; OT Consultation on ACT Teams; and Active Living.
Group 2: Improvement of community living outcomes for persons with serious mental illness wit the inclusion of OT assessment/intervention.
Group 3: College students with serious mental illness (SMI).
AOTF hosted its second Planning Grant Collective on March 2-4, 2018. The goal of the Collective was to establish research teams that will develop grant proposals for studies that move the evidence base for cancer rehabilitation beyond impairment reduction to target improving cancer survivors’ productivity and participation in meaningful activity. Researchers from the disciplines of occupational therapy, nursing, oncology, physiatry, physical therapy, psychology, and exercise science attended the event.
The event led to the formation of research teams that created action plans regarding publications and collection of pilot data to advance three lines of inquiry ultimately focused on reducing participation restrictions experienced by cancer survivors. One research team is analyzing existing data to inform the development an intervention designed to address employment concerns of people diagnosed with early-stage cancer. Another team is re-analyzing existing qualitative data to identify ways to use a community-based self-management approach to foster optimal participation in life roles and meaningful activities. The third team has designed a pilot study to collect descriptive data regarding participation restrictions, in order to inform intervention development within clinic settings.