Outcomes from an Entry-level Occupational Therapy Doctoral Practice-Scholar Apprenticeship Program
Document Type (Journals)
The introduction of the occupational therapy doctoral (OTD) program to the field of occupational therapy (OT) education was intended to advance the field by developing future leaders, increasing advanced practice, and promoting scholarship in practice. Limited information to date is available regarding outcomes of the OTD program related to the future research potential of graduates. One such approach to promoting the scholarship of practice among OTD graduates is the use of the practice-scholar model. The practice-scholar model is designed to build research skills among OTD students to encourage their ongoing commitment to evidence-based practice through implementing their own research in practice. Founded in 2014, the Northern Arizona University (NAU) entry-level OTD program has implemented the practice-scholar model through their practice-scholar apprenticeship (PSA) program. The NAU PSA program involves a mentorship experience with OTD students engaging in faculty and/or community clinician led research. The purpose of this paper is to share evaluation results of the NAU PSA program related to the research development among the program’s graduates. NAU OTD students completed pre and post surveys regarding their expectations towards research and a post qualitative feedback session. Students reported statistically significant improvements in their research self-efficacy skills. Qualitatively students identified their developed research skills, the importance of research and their desire to continue implementing research in the future. The field of OT should continue to identify structural ways to support research in practice to realize the potential of future OTD practitioners.
Heather J. Williamson, DrPH is an associate professor of Occupational Therapy and the Center for Health Equity Research at Northern Arizona University. She previously served as the practice scholar apprenticeship coordinator. Her research focuses on the health equity of adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.
Cindy Ivy, MED, OTD, CHT is a clinical professor of Occupational Therapy at Northern Arizona University. She is currently the practice scholar apprenticeship coordinator. Her research has primarily centered around intervention-based research for neurodegenerative and upper extremity conditions.
Robert E. Wickham, PhD is an assistant professor of Psychological Sciences and the Center for Health Equity Research at Northern Arizona University. His research focuses on the evaluation of health and housing programs, as well as the development of methodological techniques for complex research designs.
Oaklee Rogers, PhD, OTR/L is the Assistant Dean for the College of Health and Human Services and former Chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy at Northern Arizona University. Her research focuses on promoting occupational justice and successful community living for adults living with substance use disorders.
Patricia A. Crist, PhD, OTR, FAOTA is a retired professor of Occupational Therapy at Northern Arizona University. She is engaged in academic program consultation and accreditation processes, faculty development as scholars and faculty and graduate student coaching. Currently, she mentors an NAU student team studying practitioners engaged in the scholarship of practice.
Declaration of Interest
The authors report no declarations of interest.
Williamson, H. J., Ivy, C., Wickham, R. E., Rogers, O., & Crist, P. (2023). Outcomes from an Entry-level Occupational Therapy Doctoral Practice-Scholar Apprenticeship Program. Journal of Occupational Therapy Education, 7 (1). Retrieved from https://encompass.eku.edu/jote/vol7/iss1/16
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