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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 52  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 117-124

Impact of Corona Virus Disease-2019 on occupational therapy practice in India: An online national survey

Department of Occupational Therapy, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX; Department of External and Regulatory Affairs,NBCOT Inc., Gaithersburg, MD, USA

Correspondence Address:
Karthik Mani
1572, Harvest Vine Ct, Friendswood, TX 77546
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijoth.ijoth_1_21

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Background: India imposed several consecutive lockdowns to control the spread of coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) beginning March 2020. As a result, many establishments, including outpatient health-care settings and educational institutions, were closed. Consequentially, many health-care professionals experienced disruption in their work lives and faced financial crisis. Objectives: The objective was to assess the impact of COVID-19 on the occupational therapy (OT) community in India. Study Design: This is a cross-sectional study. A ten-item electronic survey was developed based on the research question to gather data. Methods: An online survey form was e-mailed to 760 OTs in India identified through convenience sampling. The survey link, generated through SurveyMonkey, was also shared on four WhatsApp Messenger groups (TNAIOTA Official Group, OTist Group, Clinic OT, and IPOTPDG1) with many Indian OTs (snowball sampling). In addition, the survey link was shared through Facebook Messenger to around 200 OTs in India. Data were collected from May 24, 2020 to June 21, 2020. Results: The number of responses received was 99. Eighty-seven respondents reported experiencing disruption in work, of which 37 reported 81%–100% income loss. The income loss was high among private practitioners and low among academicians. Respondents utilized telehealth to overcome the disruption. Conclusions: COVID-19 has severely impacted the work lives of OTs in India and caused financial strain. This study provides preliminary data and some suggestions for the professional organizations and leaders to consider when advocating for the profession. Further in-depth exploration is recommended.

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