Occupational Therapy Australia 28th National Conference and Exhibition 2019



Abstract Mentoring Program Closes
19 August 2018
Call for Papers Closes
9 September 2018
Call for Papers Extended 16 September 2018
Conference Registration Opens
19 November 2018
Notification Sent to Authors
26 November 2018
Deadline for Authors to Accept Offer
10 December 2018
Early Bird Registration Closes
7 April 2019
Deadline for Authors to Register
15 May 2019
OTA 28th National Conference and Exhibition 2019
10 - 12 July 2019


Once you have created an account to submit your paper, please review the guidelines and instructions on the form carefully to ensure your submission meets the requirements for review.  Abstracts which do not adhere to the correct format and word count will be returned to the author prior to consideration by abstract reviewers. Authors may save their submission at any time, and come back to complete it any time before the abstract close deadline of 16 September 2018.


Papers are able to be submitted under one of the following categories:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people / communities
  • Assistive technology / adaptive equipment / environmental modifications
  • Cancer / palliative care
  • Children, youth and families
  • Community level practice / community development
  • Consumer led or co-designed research or services
  • Driving / community mobility
  • Economic evaluation / cost-effectiveness
  • Entrepreneurship / business development
  • Health promotion / population health
  • Knowledge translation / bringing evidence into practice
  • Mental health / mental illness and recovery
  • Musculoskeletal / hand therapy
  • Neurosciences
  • Occupational rehabilitation
  • Occupational science
  • Occupational therapy education
  • Older people
  • Primary health care
  • Rehabilitation
  • Research methods
  • Rural and remote practice
  • Scope of practice – e.g. Advanced, emerging or changing scope of practice or scope of practice
  • Using everyday technologies in practice / research

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Title (Max. 25 words)
The title should be as brief as possible but long enough to indicate clearly the nature of the abstract. If you wish to include a sub title, it must be included in this field and included in the 25-word limit. Only capitalise the first letter of the title and any proper nouns. Do not abbreviate ‘occupational therapy’ or ‘occupational therapist’, and do not use any abbreviations or acronyms. The title will be used for printing in the final program.
Abstract (Max. 300 words)
Your abstract should be a maximum of 300 words. You must use the following headings:
  • Introduction / rationale
  • Objectives
  • Method OR approach
  • Results OR practice implications
  • Conclusion


Abstracts being submitted as a Workshop or Occupation Station presentation type must use the following headings:
  • Introduction
  • Learning objectives
  • Educational methods
  • Relevance to occupational therapy knowledge and practice.


References are not required. If you wish to include them, they must be included in the body of your text and included in the 300-word count.

Use Australian English spelling.

Do not abbreviate occupational therapist or occupational therapy to OT.

Special Symbols and Formatting are to be used sparingly. Once your submission is complete, please read your abstract in full to ensure the symbols are displayed correctly, and if not, please click on the “insert symbol” icon on the screen to see the list of available symbols

Do not use tables or figures

Proposed studies/presentations should be significantly advanced or completed at the time of abstract submission. The abstract should make clear the status of the research – completed research will present full results (including statistics or themes)

Do not include authors names, institution or other identifiers in your abstract as all abstracts will be blind reviewed.

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Papers are able to be submitted under one of the following method types:

Quantitative Research
The Quantitative Research category generally involves reporting of numbers or data collected using recognised scientific methodology specific to the research question. Examples include; clinical trials, single case experimental design studies, validity or reliability testing, biomechanical studies, surveys, epidemiological studies, predictive studies, etc, The data generated is usually analysed statistically.

Qualitative Research
The Qualitative Research category relates to the development of theories or interpretations of human behaviour or experience. Recognised qualitative methodologies are used (e.g. phenomenology, ethnography, grounded theory) using data collection methods such as in-depth interviews, participant observation, focus groups, etc,

Review Paper
Review papers adopt a recognised approach to searching for and synthesising literature. Examples of recognised review approaches include Systematic Reviews and Scoping Reviews. The approach taken should be explicit and reproducible. Narrative reviews tend to be more subjective, so are best submitted in the “Other” category. Authors who are accepted to present Review Papers as an oral presentation will be required to focus their presentation on implications for practice rather than on detailed description of the method.

Mixed Methods Research
Mixed methods research uses multiple ways to explore a research problem. The design can be based on either or multiple perspectives, with data collection involving any technique available to researchers including but not restricted to qualitative research, quantitative research, indigenous knowledges and empirical research. Mixed methods can be used to explain and interpret, explore a phenomenon, to serve a theoretical perspective to address a question at different levels and to address or serve a theoretical purpose. Papers should explain and justify their use of mixed methodologies

Practice Note
Abstracts in the Practice Note category will address timely issues in practice settings, practice guidelines or emerging intervention areas, or will express practice opinion that is supported by theory and evidence from the literature. Examples include descriptions of practice innovations, advocacy efforts, new technologies or products, introductions to new interventions, descriptions of empirically and/or theoretically derived programs, or scholarly opinion or forums on topics requiring discussion in the practice setting. Practice Notes may or may not include case studies.

The Other category includes topics where no formal research methodology was used. For example: A report of an event or professional trip (e.g. to an overseas country), policy development, a position statement, etc.

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Authors will have the ability to nominate their preferred presentation type:

Oral Presentations will be notified of their length of presentation time in the acceptance notifications sent to presenting authors. Oral Presentations will be 10 minutes in duration (8 minutes presentation and 2 minutes Q&A) and Extended Oral Presentations will be 15 minutes in duration (12 minutes presentation and 3 minutes Q&A). Abstracts not selected for Oral Presentation may be eligible for an Electronic Poster Display.

Electronic Poster Display
Electronic Posters (ePosters) will be prominently displayed at the Conference. Full instruction of the format and display will be detailed within acceptance notifications sent to nominated presenting authors. There will be a dedicated lounge for ePoster Meet the Author sessions and further detail on allocation to a Meet the author session will also be detailed within acceptance notifications.

A selection of ePosters will be accepted to be presented as an ePoster Spotlight. ePoster Spotlights will be 4 minutes of oral presentation speaking to the Electronic Poster Display.

A small number of workshops will be included in the conference program. Workshops will be 90 minutes in length. Authors submitting abstracts for workshops need to be aware that if their abstract is not accepted it will not be considered for any other presentation category. Abstracts will be rated on the same criteria.

Occupation Station   *NEW PRESENTATION TYPE FOR 2019!*
A small number of ‘Occupation Station’ sessions will be included in the Conference program. These sessions will be 25 minutes in length and will engage participants in doing an occupation / activity and the presentation will focus on the therapeutic use of this occupation / activity in practice and the theory supporting its use. For more information on how to structure an Occupation Station abstract, click here.

The concept of Occupation Station has been adopted from the Royal College of Occupational Therapists’ Annual Conference. The idea for the Occupation Stations originated from Ken Levins, a member of the Conference Development Team (CDT) – a dedicated group of volunteer members and RCOT officers working collaboratively to develop RCOT’s Annual Conference. The CDT brought this idea to life, and the Occupation Stations have proved to be one of the most popular session types at their last Conference.

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The abstract mentoring program is now closed.

The abstract mentoring program is suitable for those with limited to no experience of submitting an abstract for a Conference. The goal of abstract mentoring is to assist the author to present material clearly and concisely prior to submitting the abstract to the formal abstract review process. Abstract mentoring may be useful for those who do not have access to support via their own networks or organisations, or for those whose first language is not English.

Participants should prepare their abstracts according to the submission guidelines found on the submission portal, and then forward it in Word format by 19 August 2018 to conferences@otaus.com.au. Feedback will be provided with advice on ways that clarity of expression could be enhanced, in time to make changes and submit before the 9 September 2018 deadline. It is the author’s responsibility to submit the abstract adhering to all guidelines.

It is important to note that the mentoring and formal abstract submission and review processes are entirely separate, and requesting mentoring assistance and gaining feedback from that process does not guarantee that a submission will be accepted for presentation at the Occupational Therapy Australia 28th National Conference and Exhibition 2018.

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For those who are less experienced or confident in preparing abstracts for conferences, we encourage you to watch and listen to the online presentation on how to prepare a quality conference abstract.



A number of well written submissions have been collated to assist authors with developing a successful submission for review.

To view the examples, click here.

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The aim of the review process is to develop a scientific program that:

  • Is of high quality and excites conference attendees
  • Reflects innovation and diversity of occupational therapy research, practice and professional issues
  • Reflects a balance between research, practice, professional issues and education
  • Reflects a balance between many areas of occupational therapy practice across Australia

Abstracts are rated according to the following criteria:

  • Quality of the presentation content
  • Educational value
  • Quality of written abstract

For a more detailed explanation of the abstract review criteria, click here.

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1. Each submitted abstract is matched anonymously to two reviewers on the Conference Scientific Program Committee (CSPC) based on self declared knowledge of reviewers

2. Abstracts are reviewed using a standard Abstract Review Form developed by the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT)

3. Individual reviews are submitted to the CSPC prior to being summed. Summed review scores are used to rank all submitted abstracts.

4. Abstracts are then assigned a rating of "accepted for poster display", "accepted for poster spotlight", "accepted for oral presentation" and "not accepted" by committee based on overall ranking of the sum of ratings and reviewer comments.

5. Presentation assigned a timeslot in the program by the CSPC.

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Notification of the outcome of submissions will be communicated to authors on 26 November 2018.

Upon receiving notification of acceptance, authors are required to notify Occupational Therapy Australia by email of their intent to participate and present at the Conference.

Presentations of authors who fail to notify Occupational Therapy Australia by the specified date of 10 December 2018 may be withdrawn from the program at the
discretion of the Conference Scientific Program Committee.

Please note the details provided as the author contact should be for the nominated main contact for the submission. All correspondence relating to the submission
will be directed to this person, and they should in turn distribute to all co-presenters.

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Papers must be submitted online no later than 9 September 2018. By submitting a paper to the Occupational Therapy Australia 28th National Conference and Exhibition 2019, you are agreeing to the following terms and conditions:

(i)  Acceptance of a paper for the Conference does not imply provision of travel, accommodation, Conference registration, any costs associated with preparation or presentation of the paper, or any costs associated with attendance at the Conference.
(ii)  All authors presenting at the Conference must register to pay by the deadline of 15 May 2019. At least one author for every abstract must be registered for the Conference. Failure to do so may result in the paper being withdrawn from the Conference program and associated publications.
(iii)  Any changes of the presenting author or the ability for the presenter to register and attend the Conference must be notified to Occupational Therapy Australia in writing immediately.
(iv)  All student submissions must include a university lecturer as a co-author.
(v)  Permission to publish the accepted paper/s on the Conference website, Conference app, Conference supplement of the Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, and other Conference materials.
(vi)  The email address and social media handle/s supplied during the abstract submission process will be published with the paper.
(vii)  If the author/s has any commercial interests or associations that might pose a conflict of interest regarding this submission, they must be declared during the submission process.
(viii)  Permission to audio record, video record and photograph your presentation at the Conference.
(ix)  Permission for Occupational Therapy Australia to retain a copy of your presentation slides unless otherwise advised.
(x)  All paper submissions must be approved by all authors of the paper.
(xi)  All papers submitted must be original work.
(xii)  All abstracts must be submitted in Australian English and through the formal paper online submission process. Other forms of submission (including, but not limited to, post, email or fax) will not be reviewed or accepted.
(xiii)  All papers will be blind reviewed by members of the Conference Scientific Program Committee and will be accessed on the scientific merit of the submission. If there is insufficient clarity in the paper, then the submission will be rejected. The decision of the Conference Scientific Program Committee is final.
(xiv)  Authors who deliver a presentation of a paper that is different to the paper that was submitted and accepted for presentation will be omitted from the Occupational Therapy Australia National Conference and Exhibition program for a period of four (4) years henceforth.

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For any enquiries regarding abstract submission, please contact

Brigitte Kelly
Conference Events Manager

Occupational Therapy Australia
6/340 Gore Street Fitzroy Vic 3065 Australia
Ph +61 3 9415 2900
Fax +61 3 9416 1421
Email conferences@otaus.com.au

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