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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.

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.

  • Development and evaluation of new technologies, innovative therapeutic approaches, and care models to enable mobility, health, inclusion, and/or participation.
  • Studies on the effectiveness of occupational therapy in children and adults with, or at risk of, impaired ability to undertake everyday activities, e.g. in the case of neurological, psychiatric, and paediatric diseases or old age.
  • Issues related to the perspective of those affected. For example, how do patients/clients and their families experience life with a chronic illness or disability, and healthcare in Switzerland.
  • Development and evaluation of models, interventions, processes, and tools that allow the inclusion of people with disabilities.
  • Translation and validation of assessments used for quality assurance and to monitor effectiveness, or to specify impairment of the ability to act.

Insight into occupational therapy research (Research Report 2021) (in German only)

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.