Title

The relationship between participating in an international service learning program and occupational identity development from the perspective of physical therapy students.

Location

Room A

Start Time

18-10-2013 2:05 PM

End Time

18-10-2013 2:35 PM

Session Type

Research Paper

Abstract

Christiansen (1999) was first to suggest that identities are closely tied to what people do. Through “selfing,” people seek meaning in occupations to fulfill purpose, efficacy, value, and self-worth. Kielhofner (2008) coined the phrase occupational identity noting that one gains a sense of self and who one wishes to become through occupational engagement. Wilcock (2006) recognized that becoming through being and doing occupations allows one to develop competencies needed to realize future aspirations. While occupational scientists recognize the importance of the relationship between occupational engagement and occupational identity, few studies have explored these constructs. The purpose of this study was to explore the meaning of an international physical therapy service learning program in Belize, Central America among entry level physical therapy students. This study employed a phenomenological design (Polkinghorne, 1989) combined with photo-elicitation and photovoice. Six physical therapy students traveled to Belize to provide physical therapy services as part of the educational program. They volunteered to participate in this study. Data collected from participants included: reflection journal entries completed during the two week experience, student generated photo-portfolios with accompanying narratives that were completed two weeks post-experience, and a focus group that was completed six weeks post-experience. All data were transcribed verbatim and checked for accuracy by additional investigators. Data analysis included the identification of meaning units and themes (Polkinghorne, 1989). Investigators established trustworthiness through triangulation using multiple methods and investigators, peer debriefing, member checks, maintaining an audit trail, use of an external auditor, and use of rich descriptions and quotes to illustrate themes. Several themes emerged from the data: Building Relationships; Innovation in Physical Therapy with Creativity & Adaptation; and Internalizing Experience for Personal Understanding and Growth. While providing physical therapy services in Belize, participants developed essential skills for being and becoming a successful physical therapist, including relationship building, collaboration, creativity, flexibility, and improved self-awareness and self-confidence. Findings are relevant to occupational science as they support the notion that engagement in meaningful occupations promotes occupational identity development (Christiansen, 1999o; Kielhofner, 2008) and becoming through doing and being (Wilcock, 2006). In addition, findings add to the literature on the transactional nature of occupational engagement and the notion that occupations are the means to create experiences that matter (Kuo, 2011).

Objectives:

Those attending this presentation will

1) Gain an understanding of the concept of occupational identity

2) Learn about physical therapy students’ perspectives regarding participation in an international service learning program and occupational identity development.

3) Gain insight into the relationship between occupational engagement and occupational identity development.

References

Christiansen, C. (1999). Defining lives: Occupation as identity: An essay on competence, coherence, and the creation of meaning. American Occupaoial Therapy Journal, 53 (6), 547-558.

Kielhofner, G. (2008). Dimensions of doing. In G. Kielhofner (Eds.) Model of human occupation: Theory and application (4th ed., pp. 126-140). Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Kuo, A. (2011). A transaction view: Occupation as a means to create experiences that matter. Journal of Occupational Science, 18(2), 131-138. Doi: 10.180/14427591.201.575759.

Polkinghorne, D.E. (1989). Phenomenological research methods. In R.S. Valle & S. Halling (Eds.) Existential-phenomenological perspectives in psychology (pp. 41-60). New York, NY: Plenum.

Wilcock, A.A. (2006). An occupational perspective of health (2nd ed.). Thorofare, NJ: Slack.

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 
Oct 18th, 2:05 PM Oct 18th, 2:35 PM

The relationship between participating in an international service learning program and occupational identity development from the perspective of physical therapy students.

Room A

Christiansen (1999) was first to suggest that identities are closely tied to what people do. Through “selfing,” people seek meaning in occupations to fulfill purpose, efficacy, value, and self-worth. Kielhofner (2008) coined the phrase occupational identity noting that one gains a sense of self and who one wishes to become through occupational engagement. Wilcock (2006) recognized that becoming through being and doing occupations allows one to develop competencies needed to realize future aspirations. While occupational scientists recognize the importance of the relationship between occupational engagement and occupational identity, few studies have explored these constructs. The purpose of this study was to explore the meaning of an international physical therapy service learning program in Belize, Central America among entry level physical therapy students. This study employed a phenomenological design (Polkinghorne, 1989) combined with photo-elicitation and photovoice. Six physical therapy students traveled to Belize to provide physical therapy services as part of the educational program. They volunteered to participate in this study. Data collected from participants included: reflection journal entries completed during the two week experience, student generated photo-portfolios with accompanying narratives that were completed two weeks post-experience, and a focus group that was completed six weeks post-experience. All data were transcribed verbatim and checked for accuracy by additional investigators. Data analysis included the identification of meaning units and themes (Polkinghorne, 1989). Investigators established trustworthiness through triangulation using multiple methods and investigators, peer debriefing, member checks, maintaining an audit trail, use of an external auditor, and use of rich descriptions and quotes to illustrate themes. Several themes emerged from the data: Building Relationships; Innovation in Physical Therapy with Creativity & Adaptation; and Internalizing Experience for Personal Understanding and Growth. While providing physical therapy services in Belize, participants developed essential skills for being and becoming a successful physical therapist, including relationship building, collaboration, creativity, flexibility, and improved self-awareness and self-confidence. Findings are relevant to occupational science as they support the notion that engagement in meaningful occupations promotes occupational identity development (Christiansen, 1999o; Kielhofner, 2008) and becoming through doing and being (Wilcock, 2006). In addition, findings add to the literature on the transactional nature of occupational engagement and the notion that occupations are the means to create experiences that matter (Kuo, 2011).

Objectives:

Those attending this presentation will

1) Gain an understanding of the concept of occupational identity

2) Learn about physical therapy students’ perspectives regarding participation in an international service learning program and occupational identity development.

3) Gain insight into the relationship between occupational engagement and occupational identity development.