Needs Assessment of Occupational Therapy Education: Preparedness for Practice Settings

By Donna Barker, Stephanie Ross, Schwartz Arlee, Julie Hamer, Nora Khataan and Heather Carnahan.

Published by The International Journal of Adult, Community and Professional Learning

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Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: May 21, 2014 $US5.00

The purpose of the present study was to examine the perceived clinical competence of recent occupational therapy (OT) graduates in the rehabilitation areas of neurology and musculoskeletal (MSK), from the perspective of the graduates themselves and the clinical educators who supervise them during their fieldwork placements. An online survey was developed and sent to 160 recent graduates who have completed the M.ScOT program from the University of Toronto and 90 clinical educators who supervised this cohort of students during their final two fieldwork placements. The neurology clinical skills questionnaires revealed significant main effects for both expertise level (F (1, 54) = 16.67, p < .01) and clinical competency questions (F (2, 32) = 9.58, p < .01). Further, a significant interaction was found between expertise level and clinical skill competency questions (F (12, 32) = 1.95, p < .001). The MSK clinical skills questionnaires resulted in no significant main effect (F (1, 1) = 2.57, p > .05) or interaction (F (12, 30) = 1.88, p > .05) with expertise level. However a significant main effect was found for clinical skill competency questions (F (2, 30) = 6.47, p < .01). There are specific neurology and MSK-related clinical skills that recent OT graduates may not be sufficiently prepared to carry out in practice. Simulated clinical training which focuses on the identified skill areas may be beneficial in enhancing skill competence of recent OT graduates for practice in neurology and MSK settings.

Keywords: Simulation, Health Professions Education, Neurology, Musculoskeletal

The International Journal of Adult, Community and Professional Learning, Volume 20, Issue 2, May 2014, pp.33-44. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: May 21, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 659.165KB)).

Donna Barker

Director of Clinical Education, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Professor Barker is a lecturer in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto. She is also the Director of Clinical Education.

Stephanie Ross

Occupational Therapist, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Stephanie is a recent graduate of the Dept. of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto. This work was completed as part of her Master’s research project.

Schwartz Arlee

Occupational Therapist, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Arlee is a recent graduate of the Dept. of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto. This work was completed as part of her Master’s research project.

Julie Hamer

Occupational Therapist, Toronto, ON, Canada

Julie is a recent graduate of the Dept. of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto. This work was completed as part of her Master’s research project.

Nora Khataan

Occupational Therapist, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Nora is a recent graduate of the Dept. of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto. This work was completed as part of her Master’s research project.

Dr. Heather Carnahan

Professor, Dept. of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Dr. Carnahan is a professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto. She is also the Director of the Centre for Ambulatory Care Education (CACE) at Women’s College Hospital, and is the BMO Chair of Health Professions Education at the Wilson Centre.