Graduation Year


Document Type


Degree Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD)


Occupational Therapy


Difficulties with reading comprehension among occupational therapy assistant (OTA) students can diminish their ability to understand didactic textual information limiting clinical performance and can impact OTA attrition rates and limit graduate success when completing the national certification examination.

Participants were one cohort of OTA students from a rural public community college.

This was a convergent mixed-method design (Creswell & Creswell, 2018). The students’ perceptions of cognitive and metacognitive factors affecting reading and the students’ preferences for cognitive and metacognitive strategies were assessed through a 59-item survey assessment combining the Text-Learning Strategies Inventory (TLSI) (Merchie, Van Keer, & Vandevelde, 2014), the Metacomprehension Scale (MCS) (Moore, Zabrucky, & Commander, 1993) and three open-ended questions, respectively. Two course examinations were also reviewed, pre- and post reading comprehension strategy instruction.

After the instruction, perceptions increased for 50 percent of survey items with a p=value of .001 and a Cohen’s d medium effect size (.314). Course exams scores increased for 70 percent of participants with a p=value of .047 and a Cohen’s d large effect size (.608). Error analysis of open-ended questions also showed a change in students’ preferences moving toward higher order thinking strategies.

Participants examination performance improved after reading strategy instruction particular to OTA academic material. The participants changed their perceptions and preferences for reading and demonstrated a deeper reading level with text-based information and examination questions. Data indicated a significant improvement in OTA student examination performance and change of OTA students’ perceptions of cognitive factors and metacognitive factors associated with reading comprehension.

Faculty Mentor

Cindy Hayden

Department Affiliation

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

Committee Member

Colleen M. Schneck

Department Affiliation

Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy

IRB Approval Number (if applicable)