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Abstract

Play is a key occupation for children. Despite this, research suggests that pediatric occupational therapists primarily use play as a modality rather than addressing it as an outcome. Lack of education related to play has been identified as a factor contributing to the limited use of play in intervention; therefore, this study examined entry-level occupational therapy programs’ emphasis on play in their curricula. Faculty from entry-level occupational therapy programs in all regions of the U.S. responded to a validated survey. The majority (82%, n = 33) reported meeting Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) standards related to play, notwithstanding pediatric occupational therapy practitioners’ reports of a lack of education about the occupation of play. Play assessments and intervention methods taught, approaches to teaching play assessment and intervention, and the extent of teaching the assessments and intervention approaches are described. These results suggest that a review of the ACOTE standards and play content in occupational therapy curricula is needed.

Biography

Anita Mitchell, PhD, OTR, FAOTA is a Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. Her practice experience is in pediatrics, and she has a number of publications related to pediatrics and education in various professional journals. Jennifer Hale, MOT, OTR completed a bachelor’s degree in natural science at Christian Brothers University. She graduated from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center with a master’s degree in occupational therapy. Jennifer was a student at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center at the time of this study. Meg Lawrence, MOT, OTR/L was a student at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center at the time of this study. She is a 2017 graduate of the occupational therapy program at UTHSC and is currently employed as a PRN OT at Baptist Memorial Hospital-DeSoto in Southaven, MS. Erwin Murillo, MOT is a graduate of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center Occupational Therapy Program. He was a student at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center at the time of this study. Katie Newman, MOT was a student at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center at the time of this study. Katie is currently employed as an occupational therapist at the Memphis Jewish Home and Rehabilitation in Cordova, TN. Hannah Smith, MOT is a graduate of The University of Tennessee Health Science Center Occupational Therapy Program. She was a student at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center at the time of this study.

Declaration of Interest

The authors report no declarations of interest.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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