Credentials Display

Theresa Guzaldo, OTS; Abraham Kim, OTS; Kimberly Lieberman, OTS; Erin Thrasher, OTS, Laura VanPuymbrouck PhD, OTR/L


Background: Despite occupational therapy’s focus on optimizing participation in society for individuals with disability, self-advocacy has only recently (2008) become an official client factor in the Occupational Therapy Practice Framework (OTPF).

Method: This study examined the current evidence in allied health professions addressing self-advocacy skills through exploring the quality, characteristics, and effectiveness of interventions designed to promote client self-advocacy. Multiple electronic databases were used for the literature search, including: PubMed, Ebscohost, PsycINFO, Google Scholar, and Sagepub. Select professional journals were also searched. Key words used in literature review were: self-advocacy, self-determination, occupational therapy, advocacy, empowerment, interventions, allied health, and people with disabilities. The Feasibility, Appropriateness, Meaningfulness, and Effectiveness (FAME) scale (Pearson et al., 2007) was used to determine the quality of current self-advocacy interventions.

Results: The studies included in this systematic review showed successful self-advocacy interventions conducted in group and community-based settings that allowed for peer support. Self-advocacy skills have been shown to positively affect clients’ quality of life, participation, well-being, and occupational justice.

Conclusion: Our study indicates that although literature on self-advocacy interventions has been published in the last 15 years, research on self-advocacy interventions in occupational therapy and other allied health disciplines is still lacking.


The authors declare that they have no competing financial, professional, or personal interest that might have influenced the performance or presentation of the work described in this manuscript.