Document Type (Journals)
The clinical practice of occupational therapy has been described as a blend of both art and science. For occupational therapy students, Level II fieldwork experiences offer early opportunities to refine both client-centered attitudes and scientific aptitude in relationship-based caregiving. In this retrospective study, researchers examined the ability to predict final Fieldwork Performance Evaluation scores from the following non-cognitive (i.e., art) and cognitive (i.e., science) variables: ranked student responses to the Self-Assessment of Modes Questionnaire (v.II); undergraduate grade point average (GPA; cumulative and science), and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores (quantitative, verbal, and analytic). Using a series of simple linear regressions, researchers analyzed data from sixty-nine master’s-level occupational therapy students. For the first Level II fieldwork experience, empathizing and empathizing-revised modes appeared to be a significant predictor with moderate, positive correlation coefficients (p=.008, r=.329; p=.01, r=.296, respectively). For the second Level II fieldwork experience, collaborating and instructing modes appeared to be significant predictors (p=.036, r= -.255; p=.037, r=.254 respectively). GPA and GRE scores were not predictive of fieldwork success. The degree to which art and science shape expectations for relationship-based client interactions during fieldwork experiences requires further investigation. However, calling attention to occupational therapy students’ preferred communication modes highlight how client interactions may be shaped to fit the students’ natural tendencies rather than the needs of the client.
Michelle M. Sheperd, Ed.D, OTR is the Program Director and Associate Professor for the Occupational Therapy Department at North Central College, where she teaches introduction class, evidence-based practice, and management classes. She has worked in a variety of settings and management positions in mental health settings.
Ashlea D. Cardin, OTD, OTR/L, BCP, CNT is Associate Professor, Occupational Therapy Department, Missouri State University, Springfield, where she teaches foundational courses in theory, evidence-based practice, research methods, and pediatrics. She is also a practicing therapist who specializes in neonatal populations and culturally responsive caregiving in Old Order Amish communities.
Tara L. Boehne, OTD, OTR/L is Clinical Assistant Professor and Academic Fieldwork Coordinator, Occupational Therapy Department, Missouri State University, Springfield, where she teaches courses in psychosocial practice, community-based practice, and fieldwork seminars. Her area of specialty practice is low vision rehabilitation and she has worked in acute care and outpatient settings.
Kristin A. Paloncy-Patel, Ed.D, ATC is the Program Director and Associate Professor for the Health Science Program at North Central College, where she teaches evidence-based practice, research methods, leadership, and foundational introductory courses. She has practiced in a variety of sports medicine settings including orthopedics and occupational medicine.
Jessica K. Willis, MS, BS is the RStats coordinator, Missouri State University, Springfield, where she provides consultations to student and faculty researchers, sharing expertise in research design, statistical analysis, and manuscript preparation to improve the quality of scholarly work. She also teaches graduate-level courses in statistics and research methods.
Declaration of Interest
The authors report no declarations of interest
Sheperd, M. M., Cardin, A., Boehne, T. L., Paloncy-Patel, K. A., & Willis, J. K. (2021). Therapeutic Use of Self and Fieldwork Experience: An Exploration of the Art and Science of Occupational Therapy. Journal of Occupational Therapy Education, 5 (3). https://doi.org/10.26681/jote.2021.050313
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