As the population in the United States increases, it is essential that occupational therapy students and practitioners be aware of, respond to, and effectively interact with clients from diverse cultural backgrounds. Current literature identifies a gap in the cultural competence education for occupational therapy students and has demonstrated the importance of developing a culturally sensitive curriculum that will prepare students for today’s work environment. This study employed a quasi-experimental approach with a one group pretest-posttest design to explore the development of cultural awareness in occupational therapy students with classroom instruction on culturally sensitive practice. Data was collected from 43 students enrolled in an entry-level master occupational therapy program using the Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity Questionnaire (CASQ) as an online survey. Results indicated a change in the level of students’ cultural awareness and sensitivity following classroom instruction. This provides evidence in the growing body of literature on the effective education of cultural competency with occupational therapy students.
Sierra Grady, MOT, OTR/L graduated from Rockhurst University with a Masters in Occupational Therapy and is currently a Post-Professional Doctorate of Occupational Therapy student at Creighton University. She is also a Visiting Instructor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Rockhurst University. Kym Brungardt, BS, OTR/L, CLT-LANA, CHT graduated from the University of Kansas Medical Center with a Bachelors in Occupational Therapy and is currently a Post-Professional Doctorate of Occupational Therapy student at Creighton University. She has served as an Adjunct Instructor in occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant programs since 2013. Joy Doll, OTD, OTR/L graduated from the University of South Alabama with a Bachelors in Occupational Therapy and from Creighton University with her Doctor of Occupational Therapy. Dr. Doll joined the Department of Occupational Therapy at Creighton in 2007 and is past Vice Chair and Director of the Post-Professional OTD Program.
Declaration of Interest
The authors report no conflicts of interest. The authors alone are responsible for developing this original research and writing this paper.
Grady, S., Brungardt, K., & Doll, J. (2018). The Impact of Classroom Instruction on Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity in Occupational Therapy Students. Journal of Occupational Therapy Education, 2 (2). https://doi.org/10.26681/jote.2018.020201