Document Type (Journals)

Original Research


Fieldwork education is an essential component of occupational therapy curriculum design and student development. Today’s students are faced with a variety of challenges in the changing, diverse healthcare system, and educators need to ensure there are placements that best prepare them for these demands. Role emerging fieldwork offers an opportunity to not only meet the curricular requirements of fieldwork education, but also afford students the chance to develop confidence and skills unique to this kind of placement. The purpose of this explanatory case study was to explore graduate occupational therapy students’ self-efficacy before and after a Level I role emerging fieldwork experience, and in addition, the potential personal or professional transformation that occurred as a result. Data was collected from 36 students using a pre-post survey with the Student Confidence Questionnaire (SCQ). The findings revealed a statistically significant growth in each of the seven areas of the SCQ (Risk Taking, Supervision, Communication, Adaptability, Innovation, Clinical Practice, and Professional Competence), which led to an increase in self-efficacy, personal and professional development, and a further understanding of the role of occupational therapy. Results indicated the influential impression role emerging fieldwork leaves on the growth and autonomy of the student and provides a potential solution for programs to meet the accreditation standards for all level of experiential learning.


Amy Mattila, PhD, OTR/L is as an Assistant Professor in the Occupational Therapy program at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. She received her Ph.D. in Instructional Management and Leadership at Robert Morris University. Dr. Mattila’s scholarly agenda has focused around best practices in education and psychosocial practice in occupational therapy.

Elizabeth D. DeIuliis, OTD, OTR/L is the Director of Community & Clinical Education, Academic Fieldwork Coordinator and the Assistant Department Chairperson at Duquesne University, the first accredited entry-level occupational therapy doctorate program in Pittsburgh, Pa.

Ann B. Cook, OTD, OTR/L is a Clinical Assistant Professor and the OTD Experiential Director at Duquesne University. She teaches across the pre-professional and professional curriculum and manages the doctoral experiential component of the entry-level OTD program.

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.