Document Type (Journals)

Original Research


This scoping review aims to explore the essential areas of competency in occupational therapy as the ability to acquire the necessary knowledge, skills, and values for the profession is not easily quantifiable. The objectives of this study were two-fold: (1) identify the key competency areas of occupational therapy and (2) identify assessments that measure the competency areas. The review was conducted by a team of a librarian and two independent reviewers to systematically search the peer-reviewed literature. The search yielded 296 articles and 52 articles that met the inclusion criteria. These articles were categorized under four overarching themes: (1) professional attitudes that include cultural competence and the ability to uphold ethical and legal responsibilities; (2) professional communication such as engaging in active participation with the client; (3) ability to work in collaboration with inter- and intra- professionals; and (4) provide quality service with a focus on evidence-based practices. Additional research is warranted to further build the evidence base of occupational therapy competence to improve outcomes for patients. The results of this study contribute to the ongoing collective work of researchers and practitioners who wish to continually improve a client-centered holistic approach through the recognition of these key themes. Identifying the relevant measures that assess these themes establishes the foundation needed to support the continuous effort to educate and support entry-level occupational therapists by paving the way for further development and refinement of measurement tools.


Irene Chun, BA has experience in working as a psychometrist administering and scoring various assessments that measure neuropsychological functioning and is currently a clinical research coordinator for the Psychometrics+Informatics Laboratory (The pi Lab) at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis under the direction of Chang, Chih-Hung, PhD.

Dr. Steven D. Taff, PhD, OTR/L, FNAP, FAOTA is Associate Professor in Occupational Therapy and Medicine and Education Division Director in the Program in Occupational Therapy at Washington University School of Medicine. He also directs the Teaching Scholars Program at Washington University School of Medicine. Dr. Taff’s scholarly interests include critical learning theory and educational philosophy.

Anusha Mehta is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison majoring in Health Promotion and Health Equity. She was a member of the Psychometrics+Informatics Lab at the Washington University School of Medicine.

Dr. Chih-Hung Chang, PhD is Professor in Occupational Therapy, Medicine, and Orthopaedic Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Dr. Chang directs the Psychometrics+Informatics Laboratory (The pi Lab) that aims to integrate advanced psychometrics and evolving informatics to advance clinical outcomes assessment and management across the continuum of care.

Declaration of Interest

The authors report no declarations of interest.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.