"This is a very exciting and important time for occupational therapy research. The healthcare community has begun to recognize the value of engagement in meaningful life activities for health and quality of life. This recognition opens new possibilities for collaboration both within and outside traditional rehabilitation fields, included the behavioral, educational, and social sciences. We have well-trained scientists who are already doing significant work in relevant areas, and a growing number of doctoral graduates with excellent research training who are committed to carrying this work forward.
However, this is only a beginning; we need to build on this foundation and grow our efforts as much work remains to be done. In addition to building knowledge, there is a significant need to build research capacity in occupational therapy. As a relatively new science, we do not have the well-tested mechanisms of more established disciplines to prepare the needed number of career scientists or to adequately support he continuing productivity established researchers...By building research knowledge and capacity, we play an essential role in building the evidence needed to improve practice and ultimately improve the health of those we serve.
Wendy Coster, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Chair, AOTF Board of Trustees, 2016-2017