Title

Student Poster Session - An International Systematic Mapping Review of Occupational Therapy Education: Is Occupation Addressed?

Start Time

18-10-2013 12:40 PM

End Time

18-10-2013 1:30 PM

Abstract

Introduction: Since occupational therapy (OT) adopted the master’s degree as entry into the profession, educational scholars have written about and researched content and skills that should be, and are being, taught to occupational therapy students. Scholars writing about content and skills often embed calls for educational reform. Calls for reform in occupational therapy education have been varied, but the major emphasis has been on graduating therapists who are fully conversant and knowledgeable about the concept of occupation and its importance to the profession (Hooper, 2006; Pierce, 1999; Whiteford & Wilcock, 2001; Yerxa, 1998). For being the “cornerstone” of our profession, it seems apparent that the concept of occupation would be the focus of much of the educational literature on content and skills; especially given Pierce’s view that occupation in curricula is fundamental if the profession is to “survive” (Pierce, 1999). However, the extent to which occupation is actually a focus in publications on content and skills has not been explored.

Purpose: Therefore, this systematic mapping review examined educational research for how prominently occupation has been addressed as an important content area and basis for skills in practice.

Methods: This study is part of a larger ongoing systematic mapping review of OT education research. “The main goal of a systematic mapping [study] is to provide an overview of a research area, and identify the quantity and type of research and results available within it…” (Petersen, Feldt, Mujtaba, & Mattsson, 2008, p. 3). From the comprehensive database searches conducted for the study overall, 49 articles were categorized as addressing content and skills taught and/or promoted in education research and are included in this study. Articles were analyzed using a data extraction tool that included data about occupation in teaching and learning. Data were entered into Microsoft Access and queries conducted to determine the extent to which occupation has been included in pieces on content and skills.

Findings & Implications: Preliminary findings suggest importance placed on occupation as the keystone of the profession does not appear to be replicated in the literature documenting OT education beyond those seminal pieces above. Only one article out of the thirty-two coded thus far has addressed the need to focus on occupation in OT curricula. However, while research on content and skills does not frequently address occupation explicitly, many of the content and skills areas support occupation-based practice. For example, nine articles thus far address clinical reasoning and critical thinking skills and four address skills in cultural competence. However, without an explicit link between these content areas and skills, there is a risk that occupation in education may remain veiled to students. The importance of this blatant gap in emphasis cannot be overemphasized. Without a strong personal understanding of occupation, it seems unlikely that OT graduates will be able to be client-centered in a way unique to occupational therapy. Implications for occupation as a taken for granted threshold concept will be discussed.

References

Hooper, B. (2006). Beyond active learning: A case study of teaching practices in an occupation-centered curriculum. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 60, 551-562.

Petersen, K., Feldt, R., Mujtaba, S., & Mattsson, M. (2008, June). Systematic mapping studies in software engineering. In 12th International Conference on Evaluation and Assessment in Software Engineering (Vol. 17, p. 1). Pierce, D. (1999). Putting occupation to work in occupational therapy curricula. Education Special Interest Section Quarterly, 9, 1-4.

Pierce, D. (1999, September). Putting occupation to work in occupational therapy curricula. Education Special Interest Section Quarterly, 9, 1-4.

Whiteford, G. E., & Wilcock, A. A. (2001). Centralizing occupation in occupational therapy curricula: Imperative of the new millennium. Occupational Therapy International, 8, 81-85.

Yerxa, E. J. (1998). Occupation: The keystone of a curriculum for a self-defined profession. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 52, 365-372.

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Oct 18th, 12:40 PM Oct 18th, 1:30 PM

Student Poster Session - An International Systematic Mapping Review of Occupational Therapy Education: Is Occupation Addressed?

Introduction: Since occupational therapy (OT) adopted the master’s degree as entry into the profession, educational scholars have written about and researched content and skills that should be, and are being, taught to occupational therapy students. Scholars writing about content and skills often embed calls for educational reform. Calls for reform in occupational therapy education have been varied, but the major emphasis has been on graduating therapists who are fully conversant and knowledgeable about the concept of occupation and its importance to the profession (Hooper, 2006; Pierce, 1999; Whiteford & Wilcock, 2001; Yerxa, 1998). For being the “cornerstone” of our profession, it seems apparent that the concept of occupation would be the focus of much of the educational literature on content and skills; especially given Pierce’s view that occupation in curricula is fundamental if the profession is to “survive” (Pierce, 1999). However, the extent to which occupation is actually a focus in publications on content and skills has not been explored.

Purpose: Therefore, this systematic mapping review examined educational research for how prominently occupation has been addressed as an important content area and basis for skills in practice.

Methods: This study is part of a larger ongoing systematic mapping review of OT education research. “The main goal of a systematic mapping [study] is to provide an overview of a research area, and identify the quantity and type of research and results available within it…” (Petersen, Feldt, Mujtaba, & Mattsson, 2008, p. 3). From the comprehensive database searches conducted for the study overall, 49 articles were categorized as addressing content and skills taught and/or promoted in education research and are included in this study. Articles were analyzed using a data extraction tool that included data about occupation in teaching and learning. Data were entered into Microsoft Access and queries conducted to determine the extent to which occupation has been included in pieces on content and skills.

Findings & Implications: Preliminary findings suggest importance placed on occupation as the keystone of the profession does not appear to be replicated in the literature documenting OT education beyond those seminal pieces above. Only one article out of the thirty-two coded thus far has addressed the need to focus on occupation in OT curricula. However, while research on content and skills does not frequently address occupation explicitly, many of the content and skills areas support occupation-based practice. For example, nine articles thus far address clinical reasoning and critical thinking skills and four address skills in cultural competence. However, without an explicit link between these content areas and skills, there is a risk that occupation in education may remain veiled to students. The importance of this blatant gap in emphasis cannot be overemphasized. Without a strong personal understanding of occupation, it seems unlikely that OT graduates will be able to be client-centered in a way unique to occupational therapy. Implications for occupation as a taken for granted threshold concept will be discussed.