Document Type (Journals)

Original Research


Occupational therapy students need to develop self-efficacy for therapeutic use of self in practice. This longitudinal study examined Norwegian occupational therapy students’ self-efficacy for therapeutic use of self over a 16-month period and investigated predictors of their end-point self-efficacy. One hundred and eleven students from two universities completed a self-efficacy questionnaire related to the use of self after a workshop, and at 3-month, 10-month, and 16-month follow-up. The students’ self-efficacy development was analyzed with linear mixed effect models, while factors associated with self-efficacy were investigated with linear regressions. The students from both universities showed a linear increase in self-efficacy for therapeutic mode use (p < 0.001), recognizing clients’ interpersonal characteristics (p < 0.001), and managing interpersonal events (p < 0.001). However, for the students from University 1 the largest increase occurred in an early phase, whereas for the students from University 2 the largest increase occurred in a late phase. Only baseline scores were associated with the end-point measure at 16-month follow-up. The study indicates that students’ self-efficacy for therapeutic use of self increased during the follow-up period and adds to the knowledge about occupational therapy students’ self-efficacy development related to understanding and managing client-therapist interactions.


Chia-Wei Fan, PhD is an Assistant Professor in the Masters of Occupational Therapy Program at AdventHealth University. Her scholarly interests and expertise include measurement quality evaluation, Model of Human Occupation (MOHO) and client-therapist relationships. She has participated in many assessment developments and psychometric property examinations nationally and internationally.

Tove Carstensen, MSc is an occupational therapist with over 20 years of experience from different mental health institutions and services. Over the last six years, she has been Assistant Professor at Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Department of Occupational Therapy. She is involved in research projects regarding therapeutic relationships, students’ learning environment and health education.

Milada C. Småstuen, PhD is a biostatistician with background in cancer research and longitudinal studies. Currently she is in charge of the PhD program in Public Health at Oslo Metropolitan University and teaches a PhD course in Quantitative Methods. She has worked as an applied statistician for over ten years and has published 200 articles. Her main area of interest is large, registry based studies related to epidemiology and clinical medical research.

Farzaneh Yazdani, PhD is a senior lecturer with 26 years of experience working at Oxford Brookes University. She has been involved in developing assessment tools in the field of occupational therapy since 2012. Her main areas of interest are exploring the fundamental concepts of occupational science, including therapeutic relationship and life balance.

Brian Ellingham, MSc has a clinical background in psycho-geriatrics and is now Assistant Professor teaching undergraduates at the occupational therapy program at Oslo Metropolitan University. He has been involved in research and development related to developing and adapting assessment tools for Norwegian practice. His main areas of interest are the conceptual foundations of occupational therapy and the development and role of occupational analysis.

Tore Bonsaksen, MSc has clinical background in mental health practice. Currently he teaches at undergraduate and masters-level occupational therapy programs at Oslo Metropolitan University and VID Specialized University. He is involved in a number of research projects related to health, health services and education within the health professions.

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.