Foundations for work-related practice: Occupational therapy and physiotherapy entry-level curricula

Kerry Adam, Jenny Strong, Lucy Chipchase

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aims/background: Occupational therapy (OT) and physiotherapy (PT) curricula content and preparedness for work-related practice and occupational health and safety (OHS) are not well documented. This study aimed to identify content and other elements of entry-level curricula in 23 OT and 17 PT programmers from Australia and New Zealand, and to identify educators' perceptions of OT and PT graduates' preparedness for work-related practice and OHS topics. Method: A telephone survey collected curricula content as well as teaching and assessment methods from 19 OT and PT work-related practice educators. Educators reported perceptions of new graduate preparedness for 22 topics in the field of work-related practice identified in an earlier study. Results included descriptive statistics and thematic analyses. Findings: Educators reported a high rate of inclusion (81%) of work-related practice topics in curricula. The main teaching method was theory (99.5%) and other methods included hands-on practical work with students and fieldwork with clients. Educators reported similar assessment processes across programmers. New graduates were prepared for practice with minimal supervision in the majority of topics (81%). Conclusions: Work-related practice content was included strongly and consistently in OT and PT entry-level curricula. However, as the majority of content was embedded in other courses, topics may not have been explicit and identifiable to students. New graduates were perceived to be prepared for practice with minimal supervision. This finding will assist employers to understand new graduates' preparedness for practice and needs for further development. Preparedness for practice in this field was similar to expectations of preparedness for other practice areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-100
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation
Volume20
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013
Externally publishedYes

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