Document Type (Journals)

Original Research


Hybrid occupational therapy (OT) students transitioning from certified OT assistants (COTAs) to OTs can successfully learn graduate-level anatomy in a compressed format with limited synchronous instruction time. The effectiveness of a human anatomy course with limited synchronous instruction time for transitional hybrid occupational therapy students was investigated. A retrospective, non-randomized study was used. A university graduate level human anatomy course for transitional OT students used prosected (previously dissected) cadavers. Students (n=46, 32 instruction hours over 16 weeks) final anatomy course grades for three cohorts were measured retrospectively. There was a 98% first-time pass rate and 100% second time pass rate. Less than 5% of the students needed to either repeat the course (one student) or withdrew from the course prior to course completion (one student). Results suggest that a hybrid learning model with limited synchronous instruction time is effective for transitional OT students learning human anatomy. Programs should consider how instruction time and distribution impacts anatomy learners, and when there is limited time in the classroom, investigate alternative pedagogies for those few students who would benefit from a more immersive-learning environment. Anatomy knowledge is essential in progressing through occupational therapy curriculums and is needed for client management. Understanding what factors impact learning anatomy could assist in creating more effective anatomy courses for occupational therapy students.


Dr. Berrios, DPT, PhD, teaches human anatomy and scientific inquiry at Concordia University - Wisconsin in the Occupational Therapy Department. She practices physical therapy in orthopedics and sports medicine. Dr. Berrios research interests are in anatomy education, health disparities, and orthopedics.

Dr. Lemley, PT, PhD, is an associate professor in the Departments of Occupational and Physical Therapy at Concordia University-Wisconsin in Mequon, Wisconsin. She teaches human anatomy and neuroscience to occupational and physical therapy students and clinical anatomy to clinicians. Her research interests are in anatomy education and pain management.

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.