Document Type (Journals)

Original Research


The goal of this mixed methods pilot study was to determine the effectiveness of a hybrid pedagogy to develop safe patient handling knowledge, self-efficacy, and skills in occupational therapy students. Developing safety judgment is integral to occupational therapy education programs, which requires the deepening of knowledge associations. As evidence suggests, patient handling is taught in academic programs with traditional pedagogy. Safe patient handling requires teaching the breadth of the most relevant and contemporary theory and techniques. A growing body of evidence demonstrates the effectiveness of online education. The project author developed an evidence-based hybrid pedagogical approach that included four narrated online modules with video, photos, and asynchronous threaded discussions and a fifth hands-on lab and a case-based competency assessment module. Sixteen occupational therapy students participated in the study. Paired t-test results validated the effectiveness of the hybrid model with statistically significant pre- to post-test improvements in knowledge and self-efficacy. Content analysis of asynchronous threaded discussions and open-ended pre- and post-test responses provided evidence of improved knowledge and self-efficacy. Synthesis of the quantitative and qualitative data provided evidence to suggest improvements in judgment. The case-based competency assessment results demonstrated 75% of the students achieved the level of accomplished performance on their first attempt. Results indicated the desire for additional hands-on practice with instructor feedback to promote further skill development. Students learned safe patient handling when curriculum reflected the complexities of patient handling with adequate opportunities for problem-solving and hands-on experiences coupled with instructor feedback.


Steven Eberth, OTD, OTRL is an assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Western Michigan University. His research interests exist within the intersection of clinical practice and public health through the application of theory to solve clinical, organizational, and social issues to promote safety and engagement in occupation.

Ingrid Provident, Ed.D OTR/L FAOTA is an associate professor and program coordinator for the Post-professional online clinical occupational therapy doctoral program at Chatham University. Her research interests include online, classroom and fieldwork education.

Carla Chase, Ed.D, OTRL is professor and chair of the Occupational Therapy Department at Western Michigan University. Her current work focuses on studying the impact of a deeper learning approach and the student’s beliefs about the nature of knowledge on the critical thinking process.

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.