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Systematic Review: Need for High-Quality Research on Occupational Therapy for Children With Intellectual Disability

Julkaistu 26.8.2021



Enabling participation in everyday life and supporting development are essential goals in occupational therapy of children and young people with intellectual disabilities (ID).


To gather and evaluate evidence of the effectiveness of occupational therapy interventions for children with ID in terms of participation in everyday life.

Material and methods

A literature search conducted using electronic databases (CINAHL, Cochrane Library, PubMed and EMBASE) from January 2000 to May 2020. Methodological quality was assessed using the Joanna Briggs Institute critical appraisal tools. Quality of evidence was critically appraised with the GRADE.


The search yielded 4741 records, of which 15 studies met the inclusion criteria: 3 randomized controlled trials, 3 case-control studies, 2 case series and 7 case reports. The studies were diverse in quality. The evidence is inconclusive because of the limited amount of methodologically robust studies.

Conclusions and significance

Results support the notion that occupational therapy in daily environments for children with ID may enhances participation in everyday activities. Further research with appropriate study designs and outcome measurements is needed. Although the research evidence was limited, the results encourage focussing on occupational therapy for children with ID to enhance participation in school and home environments.

Lue koko artikkeli (


Maarit E Karhula, Tuija Heiskanen, Anna-Liisa Salminen

Lisätietoja julkaisusta

  • Vertaisarvioitu: kyllä.
  • Avoin saatavuus: ei.
  • Koko viite: Karhula, M. E., Heiskanen, T., & Salminen, A. L. (2023). Systematic review: Need for high-quality research on occupational therapy for children with intellectual disability. Scandinavian journal of occupational therapy, 30(3), 261-277.

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