METHODS: An overview of reviews was conducted. A systematic search was performed on four databases up to March 2018. Included systematic reviews were analysed for quality using A MeaSurement Tool to Assess systematic Reviews (AMSTAR).
RESULTS: A total of 2187 articles were identified after removing duplicates. Ultimately, 58 systematic reviews were identified that yielded 641 instruments. From those, 45 instruments were selected for appraisal as they met the inclusion criteria of being developed mainly by occupational therapists and were recommended in the summarised findings from the systematic reviews. The instruments were classified according to the following occupation domains: (i) multidimensional, (ii) activities of daily living, (iii) productivity, (iv) social, (v) sleep/rest, (vi) sexuality and (vii) spirituality. No systematic review was identified that specifically focussed on occupations related to school/education, leisure and play.
DISCUSSION: Certain occupation domains such as activities of daily living, social and sleep/rest received high attention amongst researchers. There is a need for systematic reviews of instruments to measure education/school, play and leisure. Limited numbers of instruments were developed by occupational therapists outside the occupation domain of activities of daily living, and in areas of practice other than children and older people. Nevertheless, this overview can give some guidance for occupational therapists in selecting a suitable occupational therapy instrument for practice.
METHODS: Published literature was systematically searched according to PRISMA guidelines using specific key terms. Initial search identified 785 studies; however only seven met the inclusion criteria and were assessed for final review. Studies were methodologically appraised using the McMaster Critical Review Form-Quantitative Studies.
RESULTS: The review found no randomised control trial study design pertaining to the reviewed area. However, it can be seen that occupational therapy interventions for writing skills in 4-6 year old children managed to increase the targeted skills. The results were similar across samples with or without disabilities. An effective integration of occupational therapy interventions into educational curriculum was found to save both time and cost.
CONCLUSION: The long-term benefit from these interventions and the effects of these interventions on a broader spectrum of fine motor abilities need to be explored further with stronger research designs. However, the lack of studies adopting high level study designs, i.e., RCT designs means, results need to be approached with caution by occupational therapists when implementing handwriting skills intervention in practice.