Research Fellow

Division: Occupational Therapy & Arts Therapies

Tel: 0131 474 0000

Dr Donald Maciver (BSc (Hons), PhD) is a Research Fellow in the Firefly Research Unit in the Occupational Therapy & Arts Therapies Division. He is also a Full member of Centre for Applied Social Sciences.

  • Overview
  • Research Interests
  • Research Publications
  • Funded Projects
  • Teaching & Learning
  • Activities & Awards

Dr Maciver is an experienced occupational therapy researcher and educator. With a PhD in Health Sciences, his research focusses on disabled children’s participation and inclusion within their home, school and community. Dr Maciver is a Research Fellow at QMU with a history of allied health professions and education research regarding supports for children with disabilities. He is currently investigating disabled children’s participation within school with a view to develop comprehensive explanatory participation theory to underpin new assessment(s) and intervention(s). Additionally, Dr Maciver is facilitating an international research network of academics and practitioners with a focus on children’s disability and participation with a view to understanding cultural similarities and difference

Affiliations/Memberships to Other Organisations:

  • British Association of Occupational Therapists 2005-present
  • Health and Care Professions Council 2005-present
  • British Association of Childhood Disability 2014-present
  • International Association for the Study of Pain 2004-2008
  • British Pain Society 2002-2008

Professional Social Media:

Research/Knowledge Exchange Centre Membership:

Dr Maciver’s focus on investigating participation of disabled children was established early in his career and he has developed a body of research understanding the lives of children with disabilities and their participation in everyday activity.  Related child and family research has also focused on parent experiences, school based interventions/assessments, post school outcomes, and employment. A hallmark of Dr Maciver’s research is collaboration between University, NHS and Education providers leading to long-standing partnerships.

Active Research Interests:

  • Current research aims to impact directly on children’s lives, focusing on understanding and improving participation for children who have disabilities. Current work focusses on evidence synthesis to guide the development of theory to analyze participation outcomes and development of assessments of participation for school age children.  Research aims to have a robust impact via the development of assessment tools and interventions. Enquiry grounded in the Model of Human Occupation is also a key focus.

Research Methods:

  • Meta-Analysis, Systematic Review, Realist Synthesis, Structural Equitation Modelling (SEM), Psychometrics, Rasch Analysis, Assessment/Intervention Development.


Please see my research publications in eResearch – Queen Margaret University’s repository

Research Grants & Contracts Funding:

2011 – Commissioned Research Project Grant, UK Occupational Therapy Research Foundation (UKOTRF)

Dr Maciver teaches at postgraduate level in

  • Models of practice and research methodology.
  • Research-informed and critical perspectives.
  • Interdisciplinary teaching for education and allied health professionals.
  • Supporting health and education practitioners to develop advanced skills in inclusive education and collaborative working.

Program Leader:

  • Post Graduate certificate in Collaborative Working: Therapy and Education


Vice-Chair of the Research and Development Board, the College of Occupational Therapists 2009-2012

Elected Member, Editorial Board, the British Journal of Occupational Therapy, College of Occupational Therapists 2012-2015