2016 International Occupation-centered Symposium i Fort Collins, Colorado


The Center for Innovative OT Solutions is proud to host the

2016 International Occupation-centered Symposium

Occupational Therapy:  Simple, but So Complex

Tuesday, July 26 to Thursday, July 28, 2016


Fort Collins, Colorado

Have you ever felt like others don’t understand the complexity of occupational therapy?  It looks so simple:  “all” we do is have people get dressed or play games or. . . .  And we just use everyday tools and materials and very little sophisticated technology.  Yet, anyone who has tried to plan and implement effective occupational therapy interventions knows that “it just isn’t all that simple.”  Best practice is about providing individualized interventions to each person we meet.  Each person we work with has unique needs and our occupation-based and/or occupation-focused interventions must be designed to address those unique needs.    Now, that’s complex. 

This 3-day symposium will bring together occupation-centered practitioners and experts in planning, implementing, and evaluating complex occupational therapy interventions used in research and in practice. 




Keynote Speakers

Anders Kottorp, PhD, Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Applied Health Sciences, University of Illinois at Chicago, USA and Associate Professor, Karolinska Institutet, Division of Occupational Therapy, Sweden

Planning and implementing complex interventions:  Professor Kottorp will provide us with an orientation of complex interventions in health care services, what they are, and how both qualitative and quantitative methods must be used to carefully plan them, implement them, and then evaluate their effectiveness, whether it is in a research intervention trial or in our everyday practice with our clients. Complex interventions also can result in complex outcomes, and Dr Kottorp will use clinical examples to illustrate the challenges and opportunities for occupational therapists to apply such approaches in outcome research and praxis.  


Anne G. Fisher, ScD, Professor Emerita.  Umeå University, Sweden and Affiliate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, Colorado State University, USA

Evaluating complex interventions:  Professor Fisher will present ideas on how to evaluate the occupation-based and occupation-focused mechanisms of our interventions, using the logic of the OTIPM to guide our thinking.  Building on Dr. Kottorp's presentation, Professor Fisher will expand on how we can use theory to guide and understand why we do what we do at each step of the occupational therapy process.   Professor Fisher will discuss stress (a) what are the critical elements of evaluations and interventions, and (b) how what we do at different steps affects later steps.  This presentation will provide a practical method for evaluating complex occupational therapy interventions which can be used for intervention research design, the evaluation of existing research literature, and clinical practice.  


Abbey Marterella, PhD, Associate Professor, School of Health Sciences, College of Health and Human Services, Eastern Michigan University, USA

Qualitative inquiry in intervention development research:  Doctor Marterella will draw on her experiences with qualitative inquiry and intervention development research to illuminate how exploratory studies can undergird complex interventions. By nature, qualitative inquiry is designed to deal with complicated situations and ambiguous questions. In professions like occupational therapy that require complex interventions, qualitative inquiry can provide deeper understandings that researchers and clinicians can use to bolster their interventions. In addition to using qualitative inquiry as a critical component of “front end planning” for effective interventions, Dr. Marterella discusses how it can be used for “back end” development for rich process understandings of intervention experiences. During this presentation, Dr. Marterella will draw from her research with people receiving services in the mental health system and experiences with the Well Elderly II Study. Like Professor Kottorp, she will address useful methods for novices and more skilled researchers, including how practitioners could use qualitative inquiry to inform intervention. 

Call for Abstracts: 

Two types of posters will be considered, but in both cases, first consideration will be given to posters focused on occupation-based and/or occupation-focused interventions.  All posters must have an element that is occupation-based and/or occupation-focused.

Posters in Focus:

Abstracts for intervention studies in which the author(s) will be prepared to give short oral presentations and then participate in small group discussion and critique guided by a clinical or research expert.  Abstracts considered for the Posters In Focus Session will be limited to studies that include evaluation or intervention components that are occupation-based and/or occupation-focused.

General Poster Session:

Preference will remain on intervention studies, but abstracts for other occupation-based and occupation-focused posters will be considered.


Maximum word count:  800 words

Format for abstracts:  See sample abstract (below)

Font:  Times New Roman, 11 cpi

Email submission no later than December 15, 2015 to: info@innovativeOTsolutions.com


Notice of acceptance anticipated no later than:  February 1, 2016



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