In the occupational therapy (OT) profession, peer supervision groups are recommended for professional development, lessening attrition, and relieving stress. Peer supervision is under researched, thus competencies to support this practice are unknown. The purpose of this scoping review was to: (1) summarize the research knowledge around peer supervision to support evidence-based practice in OT, (2) map supervision competencies and key themes in the literature, and (3) isolate peer supervision competencies that may be especially relevant to graduate-level OT students. The long-term aim of this research is to develop a framework for evidence-based peer supervision training. Researchers investigated the question: What competencies related to peer supervision, supervision in OT clinical education, and supervision in allied health are relevant to the education of graduate-level OT students? Using a six-step methodological framework, a scoping review of empirical, conceptual, and grey literature was conducted. Studies relevant to peer supervision, supervision in OT clinical education, and supervision practices in allied health professions were searched and appraised, yielding 15 high quality studies. Competencies were extracted and mapped, resulting in the following OT peer supervision competencies: flexibility, professional enculturation, providing constructive feedback, psychosocial support, teaching, and clinical skill acquisition. Findings suggest OT peer supervision competencies center on skillful relationship abilities, as supervision skills are not innate, not dependent on clinical skill, and typically need to be taught. This study warrants the need for additional efforts around supervision practices.
Annie Murphy-Hagan, B.A., B.S. is pursuing a Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree at Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis. Her research interests include clinical supervision practices, professional identity, and cultural and linguistically appropriate services in healthcare.
Lauren Milton, OTD, OTR/L is an Instructor at the Program in Occupational Therapy at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. She is engaged in the development and implementation of several educationally-based programmatic and research initiatives at the Program, including the Innovations in Education Lab.
Declaration of Interest
The authors report no declarations of interest.
Murphy-Hagan, A., & Milton, L. E. (2019). Towards Identifying Peer Supervision Competencies for Graduate-level Occupational Therapy Students: A Scoping Review. Journal of Occupational Therapy Education, 3 (1). https://doi.org/10.26681/jote.2019.030104
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