Occupational therapy services provided to populations in non-urban areas: A scoping review protocol

Karen Hayes, Danielle Morante, Moses Costigan, Vagner Dos Santos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: The objective of this review is to complete a global synthesis of the evidence on occupational therapy services provided in non-urban areas.

Introduction: Worldwide, non-urban populations experience higher levels of disease, mortality, and disease risk factors, yet most health services, including occupational therapy, are disproportionately located in urban areas. Research has predominantly focused on attracting therapists to non-urban practice by exploring generalized expressed needs from existing non-urban therapists, such as access to professional development, backfilling of jobs, peer and other practice supports, or enticing occupational therapy students through placement experiences. However, the types of service that non-urban occupational therapists routinely provide remains unclear. Clarifying the scope of occupational therapy services in non-urban areas will support educators and policy-makers to plan curricula and services to support non-urban clinicians and communities.

Inclusion criteria: This scoping review will consider qualitative and quantitative research studies and opinion pieces about occupational therapy services provided to any individuals or groups living in rural (non-urban) areas across the world.

Methods: The search will be conducted in MEDLINE (Ovid), CINAHL (EBSCOHost), Emcare, and ProQuest Nursing and Allied Health, limited to studies published from 2010 in English, French, Portuguese, or Spanish. Titles and abstracts will be screened by two independent reviewers against predefined inclusion criteria, followed by detailed assessment and appraisal by two independent reviewers. Reasons for including or excluding studies will be recorded. Data will be extracted using a charting table and presented in tabular form with a narrative summary describing how the results relate to the review question.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1964-1970
Number of pages7
JournalJBI Evidence Synthesis
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2021


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