Research Article| Volume 11, ISSUE 1, P39-44, January 1998

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A survey of Canadian hand therapists: Demographics, roles, and educational needs

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      A questionnaire was mailed to 236 occupational therapists (OTs) and physical therapists (PTs) practicing hand rehabilitation in Canada, to develop a demographic profile of practitioners, determine the scope of practice in Canada, and study educational and certification issues. The response rate was 78%, which provided an accurate profile. Sixty-two percent of respondents were OTs, 35% PTs, and 3% combined P/OTs. While 82% of respondents supported a certification process, only 13% were certified hand therapists. Forty-two percent practice with both OT and PT skills. Most respondents held bachelor's degrees and reported formal OT or PT education as their primary mode of acquiring knowledge. The high response rate indicated that commitment to and interest in the practice of hand therapy are strong in Canada. Therapists would like to see more continuing education offered in Canada, and a certification process to ensure professional standards.
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