The 53rd Japanese Occupational Therapy Congress & Expo in Fukuoka 2019

Message from Chair

東登志夫

Toshio Higashi, Chair

The 53rd Japanese Occupational Therapy Congress & Expo

(Nagasaki University Institute of Biomedical Sciences)

In the almost 50 years since the first occupational therapists began practicing in Japan, the duties of this profession have become more diversified and activities have expanded to various fields. In response to this, Japanese Association of Occupational Therapists revised the definition of occupational therapy in May 2018 for the first time in 33 years. From April 2020, newly designated rules will also be applied in occupational therapy education. It is no exaggeration to say that the environment surrounding occupational therapy is approaching a turning point.

However, in traditional practices of occupational therapy, case reports have been perceived as crucial from the perspective of emphasizing the relationship with each and every client. As a result, single case reports occupy a very high proportion of papers submitted to academic journals, such as “Japanese Occupational Therapy Research”, and presentations in the past congresses. It goes without saying that the importance of case reports will remain unchanged in the future. However, more than 30 years have passed since Evidence Based Medicine (EBM) was recommended, and nowadays the development of clinical practice guidelines based on EBM has been promoted throughout the medical field. Therefore, in the future, we must strive to improve the foundation of the academic grounds for occupational therapy, such as involvement in clinical research using methodologies with higher levels of evidence than ever before.

Therefore, the theme of the 53rd Congress & Expo will be “The Turning Point in Occupational Therapy Research”, which expresses our hopes that this will be a turning point in improving the level of occupational therapy research in Japan. On this occasion, we hope that you will take on challenges in clinical research on experimental designs to verify the effects of occupational therapy and report on the results. As it has in the past, we will of course continue to widely call for abstracts on academically significant case reports, unique assessment methods for occupational therapy, the development of new medical and welfare equipment, basic research using neurophysiological and kinesiological methods, and occupational therapy educational practices. Keynote lectures and symposiums in line with the theme of the congress are also planned to stimulate participants’ interests.

We hope that this 53rd Congress & Expo will have a significant number of people in attendance and that active discussions can take place. Thank you for your cooperation.