Descriptive profile of the academic integrity of Australian occupational therapy students

Ted Brown, Stephen Isbel, Helen Bourke-Taylor, Louise Gustafsson, Carol McKinstry, Alexandra Logan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Academic integrity is the moral code of academia. Students who demonstrate trustworthiness in an academic setting are more likely to be dependable in a clinical setting. It is, therefore, important for occupational therapy academic and fieldwork educators to know the academic integrity profile of their students and to address any areas of academic dishonesty in curriculum design and delivery. To date, there has been no baseline description of the academic honesty profile of Australian occupational therapy students. Aim: To establish a baseline of academic integrity and academic dishonesty among occupational therapy undergraduate and graduate-entry masters students in a cohort of Australian students. Methods: Seven hundred and one students from five Australian universities completed a self-report questionnaire comprising demographic questions and six standardised scales measuring academic integrity. Results: Overall, occupational therapy students reported high levels of academic and fieldwork integrity; however, some areas of concerns exist. Students report copying material without citations at least once during their studies (55%), obtaining test questions at least once during their studies (42.6%) or padding out a bibliography (39.5%). Conclusion: Occupational therapy education needs to continue to emphasise the importance of academic and fieldwork integrity. Students need to be explicitly taught what academic honesty and dishonesty is and be provided with the resources and time to complete academic work to reduce the risk of academic dishonesty.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-294
Number of pages10
JournalAustralian Occupational Therapy Journal
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018


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