Document Type (Journals)
Scholarly literature and non-scholarly news sources have highlighted stressors in higher education. The rigor of occupational therapy education can compound student stress. Although the profession recognizes these stressors, insufficient literature exists regarding strategies to cope with and manage these sources of stress. This scoping review explored the literature examining stress and the implications for occupational therapy student well-being and coping, and also identified strategies for faculty to support student well-being. Using PRISMA Scoping Review guidelines, a systematic, multi-phase process was used to identify relevant literature. Databases searched included PubMed, CINAHL, PsycInfo, MEDLINE Complete, Web of Science, ERIC, and Education Database. Key search terms included components of well-being and coping. We discuss our scoping review approach to the literature search, data extraction, charting, and analysis. A sample of 15 articles met the inclusion criteria, with 1 article retracted during the analysis phase. The final sample of articles provided information about various components of stress, well-being, and coping. Analysis of these articles revealed the following themes: (1) well-being, (2) personal traits and skills, (3) stress, and (4) supportive pedagogy. Occupational therapy education is rigorous and demanding to ensure students are prepared to provide evidence-based care to their future clients. Although this demanding education may add to student stress, the profession must maintain high standards for patient safety. Results suggest there is an opportunity to support student wellness and learning within content delivery methods. By adjusting pedagogical approaches, instructors can support student wellness and impact learning.
Pamela Lewis-Kipkulei, Ph.D., OTD, OTR/L is an assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Arkansas State University. She has 28 years of clinical and educator experiences, with more than 4 years in full-time academia.
Leah S. Dunn, Ed.D., OTR/L is an assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Xavier University in Cincinnati, OH. She has 30 years of clinical and educator experience, with more than 9 years in full-time academia.
Amanda M. Carpenter, Ph.D. is an assistant professor and the student research coordinator in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Arkansas State University. Her research is focused on public health, specifically in the areas of mental health, substance use prevention, and rural health. She has more than 10 years of experience conducting research and teaching in higher education.
Declaration of Interest
The authors report no declarations of interest.
Lewis-Kipkulei, P., Dunn, L. S., & Carpenter, A. M. (2021). Implications for Occupational Therapy Student Stress, Well-Being, and Coping: A Scoping Review. Journal of Occupational Therapy Education, 5 (1). https://doi.org/10.26681/jote.2021.050102
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.