Document Type (Journals)

Original Research


Occupational therapy educational standards, established by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE), require students to demonstrate knowledge and use of the safe and effective application of physical agents. A recent change requires educators to reflect on pedagogical approaches for electrotherapeutic and deep thermal agents. With a lack of research on pedagogical approaches to teaching physical agents, research on this important topic is essential. The purpose of this study was to identify education and training methods that facilitate the development of competence with complex physical agents. This study used a mixed-methods survey design with follow-up interviews. The survey sample included 98 occupational therapists/Certified Hand Therapists with six follow-up semi-structured interviews. Descriptive statistics and one-way ANOVAs were used to analyze quantitative data. Inductive coding and deductive coding guided by Miller’s Pyramid and Bloom’s Taxonomy were used to analyze qualitative data. One-way ANOVAs indicated continuing education and fieldwork resulted in higher levels of independence when compared with manufacturer’s sales representative training (pp


Megan McLaughlin, EdD, MOT, OTR/L, CHT is an Assistant Professor in Occupational Therapy at the University of Findlay.

Alfred G. Bracciano, MSA, EdD, OTR/L, FAOTA is a Professor & Creighton Alaska Pathway Coordinator at Creighton University at the University of Alaska Anchorage and Creighton University.

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.