The Use of Visual Thinking Strategies to Enhance Observation Skills of Entry-Level Occupational Therapy Students
Document Type (Journals)
Observation is a critical skill that deserves increased attention in occupational therapy education programs as it can directly affect patient care. Art has been used as a pedagogical tool to explicitly teach observational skills in medical and allied health programs. The use of art has a positive effect on the clinical skills needed for patient care. The purpose of this descriptive study was to examine how students’ observation skills changed using Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) with works of art. This quasi-experimental, single-group, pretest-posttest design included 33 occupational therapy students who observed four different works of art using an observation log and the Observation Skills Questionnaire-modified (OSQ-m) before and after the session. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and paired t-tests. The results showed that most of the post-OSQ-m scores significantly improved, most notably the areas of remembering and the need for instruction surrounding observation. Students did report decreased ability to critically analyze what they saw. Themes were identified from the students’ responses to reflection questions using manifest content analysis and results showed that they felt it was a positive experience. Overall, the students felt that learning how to observe was beneficial to them and to their future as practitioners.
Joanne Gallagher Worthley, EdD, OTR/L, CAPS is Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Worcester State University.
Tanya Trudell, EdD, OTR/L, C/NDT is Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Worcester State University.
Declaration of Interest
The authors report no declarations of interest.
Gallagher Worthley, J., & Trudell, T. (2022). The Use of Visual Thinking Strategies to Enhance Observation Skills of Entry-Level Occupational Therapy Students. Journal of Occupational Therapy Education, 6 (3). https://doi.org/10.26681/jote.2022.060307
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