Delete search term


Quick navigation

Main navigation

Occupational Therapy Research

“Our research strengthens our profession by examining the effectiveness of occupational therapy and interprofessional interventions and developing new technologies and models of care together with clients and partners.”

Brigitte Gantschnig, Head of Occupational Therapy Research Unit

The research unit for Occupational Therapy at the School of Health Sciences focuses on projects that enable people who cannot fully participate in their daily lives to act more independently and autonomously.

Main Research Areas

The Occupational Therapy Research Unit is committed to ensuring a high quality of occupational therapy solutions in the health care domain. Projects take up research questions from health care practice, which are addressed in close cooperation with partners. The results flow back into practice through our degree and continuing education programmes as well as publications.

Evaluating complex occupational therapy and interprofessional interventions and services

We evaluate the effectiveness and efficacy of occupational therapy and interprofessional interventions and services. We closely collaborate with our partners from clinical practice, research, politics, and public administration and take into account factors that significantly influence the implementation of these complex interventions and services. 

Inclusion and participation in society

Important aims of our research are to evaluate and enhance activities, participation, and inclusion of persons with disabilities and chronic diseases. We develop and evaluate models, interventions, and tools to enable participation in social life for everybody. We actively involve persons with disabilities and chronic diseases in our projects, using participatory research methods. Our principle is "No decision about me without me."

Developing and evaluating new technologies and innovative therapeutic approaches

With many years of experience in the clinic, in industry and in research our team members are extremely well-qualified to develop and evaluate new technologies and innovative therapeutic approaches. Topics involve robotics, artificial intelligence, rehabilitation and assistive technologies, as well as the development of new models of care that enhance health, inclusion, and participation of persons with disabilities and diseases  

Implementing and validating assessments

Assessments play a key role in evidence-based occupational therapy. Our researchers are experts in developing and translating assessments and evaluating sources of validity. Thus, we contribute to quality assurance and effectiveness testing in occupational therapy.

What we offer

Our research team offers the following services to clients and practice partners:

  • Scientific projects (quantitative and qualitative methods)
  • Scientific support of projects
  • Literature review and surveys, research on evidence-based practice
  • Evaluation of research projects
  • Assessment of studies and articles
  • Development of new therapy offers
  • Consulting, moderation, and training

Projects and Publications

The Occupational Therapy Research Unit prioritises projects that enable people with restricted abilities to achieve more autonomy and participation concerning self-sufficiency, education, work, leisure activities, and social life.

All Occupational Therapy Research Unit projects and publications are listed in the ZHAW project and publication database by their start date or publication date.

Clients and Research Partners

We develop solutions tailored to the problems and needs of our practice partners and clients, drawing on a wide range of quantitative and qualitative research methods and other tools.

You benefit from our modern infrastructure and wide range of skills, which are supplemented by an interdisciplinary network within ZHAW and close ties with international experts in various subject areas.

For our interdisciplinary projects, we collaborate with the Occupational Therapy, Nursing, Physiotherapy and Public Health research units at the School of Health Sciences.

Team members

At the Occupational Therapy Research Unit, our team is composed of occupational therapy, medical education, sociology, healthcare management, and quality development specialists with extensive experience as practitioners and R&D experts in Switzerland and abroad.