Author Guidelines

All manuscripts are required to be formatted in American Psychological Association (APA) 7th edition.

Manuscript Type

Category of Manuscript

Page Limit

Abstract Word Count

Tables and Figures


Original Research 20-25 200 1-5 20-30
Practice Guidelines OR Quality Improvement Projects  20-25 200 1-5 20-30
Case Studies 10-15 200 1-5 10-15
Scholarly Education Topic 5-10 200 1-5 10-15

 1. Original Research: Quantitative, Qualitative, Mixed Methods

Applied research manuscripts provide research findings that address clinical problems that are meaningful for acute care practice in occupational therapy. The research question should provide quantitative and/or qualitative information regarding effectiveness, efficiency, demographics, or safety with evaluative or intervention domains of occupational therapy.

Use the following Structure when formatting your manuscript:

Introduction & Background: Introduction should provide the rationale for the study with connection to prior and current literature. This generally takes the form of identifying the status quo, identifying a conflict, and generating a hypothesis. There should be a clearly articulated aim, purpose, or goal of the study. The background should support the need for your topic to be studied.

Methodology: Institution Review Board (IRB) needs to be completed and acknowledged in this section. Methods section should include research design, number of subjects, the rationale for the sample size (power analysis), how subjects are assigned to groups, and justification for statistical analysis. Statements regarding protection of subjects should be placed in this section (i.e. IRB Approval, informed consent). From a qualitative study standpoint, provide the details on the validity or coding aspect.

Results: Appropriate summary of data and statistical analysis. Occupational therapy practice standards are statistical significance at an alpha level of p<.05. For qualitative studies, clearly state the themes with quotes to support a given theme.

Discussion: In this section include: describing any limitations of the study and placing the results into the context of the problem described in the Introduction. Clinical relevance should be the major emphasis of this section and goals for future research studies. Conclusion of the research should be summarized in this section.

2. Practice Guidelines OR Quality Improvement Projects

Practice guideline manuscripts in this category should be original or a modified script from the guideline that addresses a specific clinical problem or area of expertise within occupational therapy in acute care. The guide should provide answers to a clinical problem, optimize patient care, facilitate collaborative measure between disciplines, and be reflective of ethical decision making.

Quality improvement project manuscripts should provide a detailed background that identifies a practice problem within acute care setting. The manuscript should provide an aim and/or objective(s) that are measurable and applicable to improving occupational therapy practice or client care in an acute care setting. The quality improvement project should provide examples of improvement and emphasize the impact on patient care in acute setting.

3. Case Studies

Case studies are welcomed if the content is original, novice,  and adds depth to current knowledge. A case study should include some sort of outcome measurement (quantitative or qualitative) and provide implications for practice or research. The case study should offer sufficient description/detail to facts of case and be well connected to theory or research. A clearly articulated timeline of the client(s) process, experience, or progress through rehabilitation is encouraged.

4. Scholarly Education Topic

Manuscripts in this category include knowledge that addresses topics regarding  occupational therapy role in education in the acute care setting.  Education topics specific to staff training in a specific assessment or intervention, student curriculum, or client-centered education approaches.  Topics of interest for readers may include insight on curriculum development (i.e models of practice) focused in acute care for students,  fieldwork preparation for patient acuity, and employee skill-building through a variety of mediums (i.e. simulation center, role play use,  and online learning).

5. Scoping Review

A scoping review is identifying and providing insight on a range of existing evidence for a given topic. This type of review is designed to comprehensively review a large body of literature. The outcomes of scoping reviews may help organize a given topic (i.e., location, evidence type) as well as provide clarity surrounding definitions or concepts for a specific topic (i.e., population, assessment, intervention). When submitting a scoping review to Journal of Acute Care for Occupational Therapy consider a topic that is relevant to acute care and occupational therapy. Include the following elements in your manuscript:

  • Scoping Review Question
  • Expertise of your reviewers and timing of review (length of completion)
  • Sources and Search Process:  (PRISMA flow diagram; inclusion / exclusion criteria)
  • Appraisal Process (clear description of the initial and critical appraisal process)
  • Synthesis of Knowledge (commonalities found among multiple sources in the appraisal process)

Human Subject Protection

Any manuscripts that include data or information from human subjects are required to have institutional review board (IRB) approval or evidence to support exemption. Please indicate in your manuscript, within the methods section, the IRB number and date of approval.

It is recommended that authors that are completing research with human subjects complete the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI) through their institution or organization of employment.

Review Process

Every manuscript is reviewed in a two-phase process.

In the first phase, editors (Chief and Senior) will review the manuscript to ensure the content matches the journal readers, context, and goals of the journal. In this phase, it will be determined if the manuscript is eligible for the second review phase or declined from journal submission.

In the second phase, the manuscript will be blinded and sent to two associate reviewers for an in-depth review of content and readability. The associate reviewers will provide detailed reviewed comments on aspects of the manuscript, readability, images/ figures, and grammar / APA considerations. Associate reviewers will provide the manuscript back to editors, who will send the scoring sheet and manuscript with comments back to the submitting author with a decision to accept, accept with revisions, or reject. See details below on the categories for rating a manuscript for publication in JACOT.

Following review, the manuscript will be placed in one of four categories.

These categories include:

1) Accept without changes

2) Accept with minor changes

3) Accept with major changes, or

4) Reject

If the reviewers recommend major changes, the manuscript will be returned to the author(s) to be rewritten. The revised manuscript will then be subjected to further review by the original reviewers or new reviewers, if needed.

The Editor-in-Chief, Senior Editor, and the Associate Editor Review Board make the final determination of publication of manuscripts and reserve the right to refuse manuscripts for publication. All accepted manuscripts are subject to copyediting. During the copyediting process, the manuscript is actively screened for any potentially libelous and plagiarized content by a thorough review of all citations and references. If such content is suspected, resolution is made at the discretion of the editors.

The initial and subsequent review process takes approximately 3 months. If the manuscript requires revision, the author(s) have 30 days to complete those changes. If the changes have not been submitted within 30 days, the manuscript file will be closed. An extension of the deadline may be requested.

The initial and subsequent review process takes approximately 3 months. If the manuscript requires revision, the author(s) have 30 days to complete those changes. If the changes have not been submitted within 30 days, the manuscript file will be closed. An extension of the deadline may be requested.