Communities of practice: A means to support occupational therapists’ continuing professional development. A literature review

Margot Barry, Wietske Kuijer-Siebelink, Loek Nieuwenhuis, Nynke Scherpbier-de Haan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: This literature review investigates what research reports about the contribution that communities of practice (CoPs) can make in the continuing professional development (CPD) of qualified occupational therapists. Methods: Academic databases (CINAHL, MEDLINE and ERIC) were searched and articles were included based on pre-determined criteria. Five articles were included in the review. Results: The CoPs in the reviewed articles provided opportunities for knowledge sharing, knowledge translation, reflection on action and learning through boundary crossing. The presence of professionals with diverse perspectives was an important ingredient that facilitated CPD. Conclusion: Research into the use of CoPs in occupational therapy is sparse. CoPs could provide a CPD forum for occupational therapists whether online or face to face. Practitioners are encouraged to participate in CoPs
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-193
JournalAustralian Occupational Therapy Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2017



  • contemporary practice issues,
  • learning
  • occupational therapy research.

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