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- ItemAssessing Information Literacy Skills and Library Anxiety of First-year Occupational Therapy Graduate Students(2021)In today’s academic environment, students equipped with self-regulated learning and information literacy (IL) skills have an excellent opportunity for professional success given the current information-based practices in health care. Purposefully providing IL instruction to students early in their coursework will help them develop competent research skills applicable to their remaining studies and scholarly projects. Along with IL challenges, students can experience “library anxiety,” which the literature identifies as a contributing factor to poor academic performance. This study explored components of library anxiety in Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT) students and identified opportunities for IL training that could help students become more confident and proficient in analyzing research publications. The study was embedded in a class assignment, that had the students, in small groups, connect with a university librarian for a one-hour research consultation and review of library resources. Participants in the study completed a pre- and post-survey of 17 questions utilizing a 4-point Likert scale. The results indicated that the students experienced significant positive change in their confidence level with utilization of research tools. Results also showed that students had increased comfort in seeking help while using the university library. The study suggests that the students’ ability to find and assess quality research material will only improve with practice. Despite the availability of new technology that does not necessitate human contact to facilitate research, face-to-face interactions are the most effective mode of communication for questions that are involved and complex, such as graduate students’ scholarly projects.
- ItemInterprofessional Education for Health Science Students’ Attitudes and Readiness to Work Interprofessionally: A Prospective Cohort Study(2018)Background: Interprofessional education of healthcare providers is necessary to foster collaborative practice and improve patient outcomes. Objective: To examine the effectiveness of the single-session interprofessional education in improving interprofessional attitudes, increasing knowledge of healthcare professions, and improving perceived-readiness for working interprofessionally and with older adults in students in occupational therapy, physical therapy, and physician assistant graduate programs. Methods: We used a prospective, pre–post cohort design. Fall risk evaluation for older adults was selected as the topic of the 4-hour interprofessional education session. Graduate students from three professional programs including occupational therapy (n = 20), physical therapy (n = 26), and physician assistant studies (n = 35) participated in the study, and 17 older adults aged 65 years or older volunteered for the session. Our primary outcome measure was the Interprofessional Attitudes Scale measuring interprofessional attitudes, and our secondary outcome measure was the study-specific questionnaire measuring the direct effect of our interprofessional education session. Results: Graduate students showed significant improvements in the subscale of teamwork, roles, and responsibilities in the Interprofessional Attitudes Scale. Students also showed significant improvements in “understanding of other professions,” “perceived-readiness to work interprofessionally,” and “perceived-readiness to work with older adults” in the study-specific questionnaire. Ceiling effects were observed in most of the subscales in the Interprofessional Attitudes Scale. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that a single 4-hour interprofessional education session can improve interprofessional attitudes, knowledge of other professions, and perceived-readiness of health science graduate students to work interprofessionally and to work with older adults.
- ItemUsing Case-based Learning to Facilitate Clinical Reasoning Across Practice Courses in an Occupational Therapy Curriculum(2019)Although occupational therapy educators have historically used cases as a means to prepare students for clinical practice, there is little evidence that this instructional method actually facilitates clinical reasoning. This convergent, parallel mixed methods study examined how the use of varied case formats, built on the tenets of case-based learning, facilitated specific components of clinical reasoning, and explored how the cases contributed to readiness for professional practice. Case formats included text, video, role-playing, simulated patients, and a client. Case-based learning activities included application of models and frames of reference, conducting assessments, planning and implementing interventions, clinical documentation, and identification of reasoning used. All cases included the opportunity for instructors to provide direct and appropriate feedback, and facilitation of student reflection on their performance. The Self-Assessment of Clinical Reflection and Reasoning (SACRR) was used for quantitative data analysis and detected statistically significant changes in the use of theory and frames of reference to inform practice and in student reasoning about interventions, following case-based learning. Student surveys allowed for pragmatic qualitative analysis, and identified the themes of self-awareness, confidence, and developing competence related to readiness for fieldwork and clinical practice. Student preferences for case format and benefits of varied types of cases were identified. Case-based learning used different case formats, and contributed to the occupational therapy student transition from a clinical reasoning novice to an advanced beginner. Knowledge of this process is useful to occupational therapy educators in structuring case-based learning activities to influencing reasoning.
- ItemRehabilitation Intervention for Individuals with Heart Failure and Fatigue to Reduce Fatigue Impact: A Feasibility Study(2019)Objective: To investigate feasibility of recruitment, tablet use in intervention delivery, and use of self-report outcome measures and to analyze the effect of Energy Conservation plus Problem-Solving Therapy versus Health Education interventions for individuals with heart failure-associated fatigue. Methods: This feasibility study was a block-randomized controlled trial involving 23 adults, blinded to their group assignment, in a rural southern area in the United States. Individuals with heart failure and fatigue received the interventions for 6 weeks through videoconferencing or telephone. Participants were taught to solve their fatigue-related problems using energy conservation strategies and the process of Problem-Solving Therapy or educated about health-related topics. Results: The recruitment rate was 23%. All participants completed the study participation according to their group assignment, except for one participant in the Energy Conservation plus Problem-Solving Therapy group. Participants primarily used the tablet (n=21) rather than the phone (n=2). Self-report errors were noted on Activity Card Sort (n=23). Reported fatigue was significantly lower for both the Energy Conservation plus Problem-Solving Therapy (p=0.03, r=0.49) and Health Education (p=0.004, r=0.64) groups. The Health Education group reported significantly lower fatigue impact (p=0.019, r=0.48). Participation was significantly different in low-physical demand leisure activities (p=0.008; r=0.55) favoring the Energy Conservation plus Problem-Solving Therapy group. Conclusion: The recruitment and delivery of the interventions were feasible. Activity Card Sort may not be appropriate for this study population due to recall bias. The interventions warrant future research to reduce fatigue and decrease participation in sedentary activities (Clinical Trial Registration number: NCT03820674).
- ItemInfluence of Interprofessional Communication on Discharge Decisions in Prelicensure Healthcare Learners(2020)Introduction: Readiness in interprofessional practice is expected of graduating health professionals. This study examined the effectiveness of education on interprofessional communication around discharge destination decisions of healthcare learners utilizing standardized patients in an objective structured clinical examination (OSCE). Methods: Occupational therapy (OT, n = 26), physical therapy (PT, n = 27), and physician assistant (PA, n = 35) learners individually assessed a standardized patient (SP) in a simulated acute care setting and chose a discharge destination from a list of options. Next, learners considered other team member perspectives, either in an interprofessional team huddle or through review of written documentation, before meeting with the SP as a team and finalizing discharge destination decisions. Learner decisions were compared to expert opinion using cross tabulation. Results: Overall, learners in both intervention groups significantly improved their discharge decisions matched with expert opinion (Team Huddle, p = 0.001; Written Communication, p = 0.006) without a significant difference between the Team Huddle and Written Communication groups (p = .774). Variance was noted among disciplines with statistical significance only noted between OT learners and learners from the other professions (Team Huddle, p = 0.004; Written Communication, p = 0.016). Conclusion: Interprofessional collaboration through either team huddle or written communication improves discharge decision-making with compatible effectiveness between them.