Document Type (Journals)

Original Research


A national survey examined the implementation rates, barriers, challenges, and supports to implementation of two types of simulation (standardized patients and simulated environments) by entry-level occupational therapy education programs in the United States. It also sought to identify relationships between program characteristics and implementation of these types of simulation. An online survey inquiring about academic program characteristics and use of simulation was sent to all occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant programs in the United States in 2017 prior to the implementation of the 2018 Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education Standards and the onset of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Data were analyzed using both statistical and content analysis. There were 97 responses to the survey, with an approximate response rate of 23.8%. Thirty-eight percent of responses used standardized patients and 70% used simulated environments in their didactic coursework. Programs at private institutions were more likely to use standardized patients than programs at public institutions (Cramer’s V=0.229; p=0.024). Funding was the most cited support, challenge, and barrier to the use of standardized patients. Physical space was the most cited support and challenge for the use of simulated environments, with funding as the most cited barrier. Study results indicate that adequate funding, space, and potentially other resources are needed for successful implementation of these types of simulation. Future research should further study the barriers and supports to implementation of simulation by occupational therapy academic programs as well as further examination of implementation rates.


Dr. Amanda Mack, OT, OTD, MS, OTR, CLC is an Instructor and Fieldwork Faculty at MGH Institute of Health Professions. Her clinical expertise is in long-term acute care, maternal wellness, and breastfeeding. Her scholarship focuses on oncology rehabilitation, innovation in OT clinical education, and health promotion for a variety of populations.

Dr. Anne Escher, OTD, OTR, OT is a Clinical Assistant Professor and Level I Fieldwork Coordinator at Boston University. Her clinical practice covers the life span from NICU to inpatient rehabilitation and home care for adults with low vision. Her scholarship focuses on the areas of productive aging, communication impairments, and OT clinical education.

Dr. John Wong, PhD is an Associate Professor in the School of Nursing and Department of Occupational Therapy at MGH Institute of Health Professions. He teaches research-related courses and supports students and faculty in quantitative research methods. His scholarship focuses on research focuses on cell signaling, inflammation, stress, and health outcomes.

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.