Chronic respiratory diseases are highly prevalent and compromise an individual’s ability to perform activities of daily living (ADLs) and participate in meaningful life roles. Pulmonary rehabilitation (PR) is a well-established intervention aimed at restoring an individual’s exercise capacity and improving their ability to complete their ADLs. Occupational therapists help individuals engage in meaningful “occupations,” improving their health and well-being. Given the concordance in the aims of PR and the occupational therapy (OT) scope of practice, occupational therapists appear to be well suited as key players in PR programs. However, the benefits of adding OT to PR programs have been sparsely reported in the literature and the role of OT in PR has never been synthesized or reported in national and international guidelines.
The aim of this review is to explore the role of OT in PR programs, the current guideline recommendations for the inclusion of OT in PR programs, the estimated prevalence of OT in PR programs, and the reported or anticipated effects of OT interventions in PR programs.
The review will be conducted following the Joanna Briggs Institute (JBI) methodology for scoping reviews. A comprehensive search will be undertaken in the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, EMBASE, MEDLINE, and CINAHL (EBSCO) to identify and retrieve relevant literature published in English, French, or Portuguese. Gray literature on international OT association websites will also be identified, including position statements and guidelines relevant to PR programs. All literature published since the establishment of the effectiveness of PR for chronic respiratory disease in 1994 that explores OT in PR programs for these patients will be included. Search results will be exported to Covidence for title, abstract, and full-text screening by two independent reviewers. Data will be extracted by two independent reviewers using a pilot-tested template including the following: the number of PR programs including OT (specifically from surveys), the purpose of the study, the study design, patient characteristics, respiratory conditions included, PR components, OT role, outcomes, and results. Findings will be presented using a narrative summary, supplemented by figures and/or tables. Key themes will be displayed in an infographic or schematic.
The study was initiated in January 2021 and registered with the Open Science Framework (OSF) in February 2021, prior to title and abstract screening. Data collection and analysis and drafting of the manuscript will occur throughout 2021, with expected publication in 2022.
The results of this scoping review will help health care professionals improve patient care by broadening their understanding and awareness of the role of OT in PR programs. This role clarification may help to inform program development and clinical decision making and will serve to optimize the delivery of multidisciplinary care for patients in PR programs, ultimately improving patient outcomes.
OSF Registries ZH63W; https://osf.io/zh63w
INTERNATIONAL REGISTERED REPORT