The conflict in Ukraine, which started when Russia invaded and violated its sovereignty, has led to the country's worst war since the annexation of Crimea in 2014. The war has resulted in a significant number of casualties, displaced millions of people, and damaged the healthcare system, which was already struggling before the conflict. The neurosurgical field, in particular, has been severely affected, with infrastructure and healthcare systems routinely demolished or interrupted in conflict zones, making fundamental medical operations unavailable to victims of armed conflict. As a result, neurosurgeons have been compelled to conduct surgeries outside of their areas of competence, in makeshift settings or under challenging conditions, with limited access to materials and equipment. The war has also severely damaged specialized neurosurgery facilities, causing a severe shortage of crucial supplies and equipment. To address the challenges facing neurosurgery care in Ukraine, it is essential to rebuild and repair the damaged neurosurgical centers and provide them with the necessary equipment and supplies to successfully administer neurosurgical treatments. Training programs for neurosurgeons and other medical specialists must also be organized to manage complex neurosurgical problems under difficult conditions.
Background: Occupational Therapists are needed for meeting the health, rehabilitation, and occupational needs of the population worldwide, but there is no strategy for strengthening the occupational therapy workforce against a backdrop of an insufficient and inequitable supply worldwide. Objective: To perform a situational assessment of occupational therapy workforce development and research toward informing a global human resources strategy for strengthening the profession. Method: A multi-methods design incorporating SWOT analysis based on scoping review findings, workforce development frameworks, and expert feedback. Results: Strengths included identified workforce research trends, gaps, and findings. Weaknesses included a shortage of workforce research, lack of uniform and readily available workforce datasets, absence of workforce research programs, over-reliance on descriptive and non-experimental research, lack of research on workforce topics (e.g., diversity), and lack of labor market or economic analyses. Opportunities are the availability of guidance and tools for strengthening the health and rehabilitation workforce worldwide, and increased membership from low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) in the international professional federation. Threats include the suboptimal funding of occupational therapy workforce research, the lack of profession-specific data on cross-professional datasets and studies, suboptimal educational capacity in LMICs, lack of universal professional regulation and uniform workforce data collection in many contexts, and a perceived lower priority of this health workforce focused on health and wellbeing rather than medical outcomes. Conclusion: This SWOT analysis identifies strengths and opportunities to be seized and weaknesses and threats to be addressed by development of a strategy for the global strengthening of the occupational therapy workforce.