Graduate entry students' definitions of occupational therapy at admission and at graduation

Stephen ISBEL, Eleni van de Hoef, Alison WICKS

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


Introduction: Articulating key concepts of occupational therapy is critical to developing professional identity, which in turn is critical to accurately promoting the value of the profession to others. It is therefore important that occupational therapy curricula enable new graduates to articulate a clear and accurate description of occupational therapy. Objectives:The objective was to describe and comment on how students describe occupational therapy at the beginning of their studies and just prior to graduation. Methods:Students undertaking the Masters program at The University Canberra (2011 and 2012,n=32; aged 23–50) completed an entry questionnaire and an exit questionnaire just prior to graduation (2013 and 2014,n=21 aged 24–45). The questionnaire was given to students during their first lecture and their last workshop and it asked students what they thought occupational therapy was about, their definition of occupational therapy and how they described the profession to friends. Analysis will be completed with the use of data-mining software, Leximancerâ, which generates and displays important concepts in a visual and tabular form.Results:Important themes and concepts arising from analysis of data from both the initial questionnaire and the final questionnaire will be presented.There will also be a discussion on if/how these themes and concepts changed over the course of the students’ studies. Conclusions:These results may inform occupational therapy educators as to how occupational therapy students explain the profession upon admission into a course and then at the completion of the course. This insight may help inform occupational therapy curricula.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)34-67
Number of pages34
JournalAustralian Occupational Therapy Journal
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - 2015
EventOccupational Therapy Australia's 26th National Conference and Exhibition - Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 1 Jul 20153 Jul 2015


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