Identifying educational priorities for occupational therapy students to prepare for mental health practice in Australia and New Zealand: opinions of practising occupational therapists

Scanlan, Justin Newton, Pepin, Genevieve, Haracz, Kirsti, Ennals, Priscilla, Webster, Jayne S., Meredith, Pamela J., Batten, Rachel, Bowman, Siann, Bonassi, Marianne and Bruce, Rosie (2015) Identifying educational priorities for occupational therapy students to prepare for mental health practice in Australia and New Zealand: opinions of practising occupational therapists. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 62 5: 286-298. doi:10.1111/1440-1630.12194


Author Scanlan, Justin Newton
Pepin, Genevieve
Haracz, Kirsti
Ennals, Priscilla
Webster, Jayne S.
Meredith, Pamela J.
Batten, Rachel
Bowman, Siann
Bonassi, Marianne
Bruce, Rosie
Title Identifying educational priorities for occupational therapy students to prepare for mental health practice in Australia and New Zealand: opinions of practising occupational therapists
Journal name Australian Occupational Therapy Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1440-1630
0045-0766
Publication date 2015
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/1440-1630.12194
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 62
Issue 5
Start page 286
End page 298
Total pages 13
Place of publication Richmond, VIC Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Background
The effective preparation of occupational therapy students for mental health practice is critical to facilitate positive consumer outcomes, underpin optimal practice and support new graduates' professional identity. This project was established to determine a set of ‘educational priorities’ for occupational therapy students to prepare them for current (and future) entry-level practice in mental health, from the perspective of mental health occupational therapists in Australia and New Zealand.

Methods
The study included two phases. In Phase One, participants identified what they considered to be important educational priorities for occupational therapy students to prepare them for practice in mental health. For Phase Two, an ‘expert panel’ was assembled to review and rank these using a Policy Delphi approach.

Results
Eighty-five participants provided educational priorities in Phase One. These were grouped into a total of 149 educational themes. In Phase Two, the expert panel (consisting of 37 occupational therapists from diverse locations and practice settings) prioritised these themes across three Delphi rounds. A final priority list was generated dividing educational themes into three prioritised categories: 29 ‘Essential’, 25 ‘Important’ and 44 ‘Optional’ priorities. Highest-ranked priorities were: clinical reasoning, client-centred practice, therapeutic use of self, functional implications of mental illness, therapeutic use of occupation and mental health fieldwork experience.

Conclusion
The priority list developed as part of this project provides additional information to support the review of occupational therapy curricula across Australia and New Zealand to ensure that new graduates are optimally prepared for mental health practice.
Keyword Delphi technique
Mental health
Occupational therapy process/competency standards
Occupational therapy professional attitudes and behaviours
Students
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
 
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