The inception of a new journal is always a momentous occasion. This journal's birth, in particular, is a milestone that reflects the growth of the occupational therapy profession itself. Coming on the heels of last year's centennial celebration of the American Occupational Therapy Association, the Annals of International Occupational Therapy fulfills a need to record the scholarship of one of the fastest growing health professions in the world. According to the World Federation of Occupational Therapists (n.d.), there are approximately 480,000 practicing occupational therapists in 88 countries, with about 150,000 of those in the United States. Growth in the number of practitioners, academicians, and researchers translates to an increase in authorship of information that advances the practice. There are many established and respected regional occupational therapy journals in the field. The Annals, a truly international peer-reviewed journal, brings together authors from every corner of the world. I am pleased that SLACK Incorporated, a recognized and well-regarded publisher of occupational therapy textbooks, was enthusiastic about this venture, and I am pleased to be the Editor.
New journals are, and should be, judged on the quality of their editorial boards and their rigor in reviewing manuscripts. We are delighted that every appointed member of our editorial board is a noted scholar, an experienced clinician, and a published researcher in occupational therapy. We have also strived to ensure our international reach by guaranteeing geographical diversity in our board, with members from China, Switzerland, Brazil, and New Zealand, among others.
The mission of the Annals of International Occupational Therapy is to apply scientific evidence to advance the practice of occupational therapy throughout the world and, by so doing, improve the health and well-being of people within our scope of practice. To achieve this mission, every manuscript is evaluated based on how the findings will improve the practice of occupational therapy. As I screen manuscripts for review, I put to the test whether the results of the study will improve clinical practice and subsequently patient health care.
The journal is seeking to publish a variety of article types including original research, outcome studies, review articles, and case reports. Randomized controlled trials are the gold standard of clinical research, and we welcome submissions of studies that evaluate the effectiveness of occupational therapy interventions in a very rigorous way. We are also interested in other kinds of outcome studies assessing specific occupational therapy interventions, including, but not limited to, topics such as mirror therapy, kinesiotaping, ergonomics, and pain management. These kinds of studies are directly related to advancing evidence-based practice in occupational therapy.
Review articles, including meta-analyses, scoping studies, and systematic literature reviews, that summarize the results of clinical studies using statistical and descriptive analyses are highly encouraged. Potential areas for such reviews are occupational therapy interventions in chronic pain and occupation-based cognitive rehabilitation programs for individuals with traumatic brain injury.
The journal is also interested in studies related to occupational therapy in a global context and research into programmatic and technology factors that increase the effectiveness of treatment. Finally, clinical case studies with rigorous controls of external variables, pilot studies of clinical protocols, descriptions of clinical programs that can be replicated and serve as models, and conceptual studies that merge knowledge and increase the scope of occupational therapy all further the journal's mission. Specific instructions regarding the submission and review process can be found at Healio.com/OTAnnals.
We urge readers to go on our website at Healio.com/OTAnnals and explore the journal further. In addition, you can stay up to date with what is being published in the Annals by signing up to receive email alerts.
With the launch of the Annals, which will be published quarterly, both online and in print, it is our intention to publish articles that will advance the science and art of occupational therapy as an evidence-based health care profession and will thus have a positive impact on the millions of people worldwide who are living with disabilities. On behalf of the entire editorial board, I welcome you to the Annals of International Occupational Therapy!