Document Type (Journals)
After the first year of operation, members of a student-staffed occupational therapy (OT) clinic found that 36% of their patients’ injuries were violence-related, mostly due to gun violence. The purposes of this project were to identify unmet needs of survivors of violence seen in a clinic setting, identify treating professionals’ preparedness to meet these needs, and develop and pilot test a program within the scope of OT to address these needs. A literature review and key informant interviews, surveys, and focus groups identified potential solutions to address gaps between patients’ needs and professionals’ preparedness to meet those needs. The need for student training was prioritized and a one-hour electronic module was developed using peer-reviewed literature, content matter expert input, and evidence-based teaching and learning strategies. The training utilized interactive activities to help learners reflect on personal beliefs and biases, recognize relevant person and environment factors, understand underlying causes of gun violence, gain trauma-informed communication skills, and identify referral options. To pilot test the training, eight first-year OT students completed the training and pre- and post-surveys measuring knowledge and attitude changes. The mean knowledge score improved from 78% correct pre-training to 97% correct post-training, with improvement in one item statistically significant at p=0.025. Four items measuring attitudes also demonstrated statistically significant improvements post-training. Participation in this training program can help OT students develop the knowledge, attitudes, and skills to work with patients who have experienced trauma from community gun violence.
Lea Fang, OTD, OTR/L is a recent graduate of the Program in Occupational Therapy at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
Aisha Mohammed, BA is a graduate student in the Program in Occupational Therapy at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
Vicki Kaskutas, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA is an Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy and Medicine in the Program in Occupational Therapy at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.
Declaration of Interest
The authors report no declarations of interest.
Fang, L., Mohammed, A., & Kaskutas, V. (2021). Needs Assessment, Program Development, and Pilot Testing: Training for Occupational Therapy Students Working with Survivors of Gun Violence. Journal of Occupational Therapy Education, 5 (4). https://doi.org/10.26681/jote.2021.050418
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