Document Type (Journals)

Original Research


Today’s health care environment calls for quality-care, the efficiency of services, a decrease in waste, and an increase in desired outcomes. This necessitates that occupational therapy (OT) practitioners engage in continuous professional development activities (i.e., continuing education, post-professional training) and lifelong learning to enhance their critical thinking and clinical reasoning. One way that OT practitioners can advance their clinical practice skills is through participating in OT fellowship programs, which are post-professional training programs aimed to advance one’s knowledge and skills in focused areas of practice. Using theory to guide practice is also essential for OT practitioners as they make evidence-based decisions throughout the OT practice process. Grounded theory and qualitative content analysis (QCA) emerge as practical methods to uncover the constructs of competency domains of participants in OT fellowship programs. The themes emerging from the QCA process employed in this study resulted in the development of a preliminary conceptual framework for OT fellowship programs. The creation of the framework intends to help guide the development of evidence-based curricula and learning activities of OT fellowship programs. Furthermore, the use of the framework may act as a way to measure the advancement in clinical reasoning skills and the enhancement of professional development of OT practitioners seeking to acquire advanced knowledge and skills in OT practice beyond the novice level.


Marcelo Silva, OTD, OTR/L, BCPR is an occupational therapist with over 17 years of practice in inpatient, outpatient adult rehabilitation, and home health care settings. He currently works in the Caregiver Support Program for a federal government agency. Marcelo completed a post-professional doctorate in OT with a concentration in teaching and learning.

Declaration of Interest

The author reports 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.