Human rights in occupational therapy education: a step towards a more occupationally just global society

Crawford, Emma, Aplin, Tammy and Rodger, Sylvia (2016) Human rights in occupational therapy education: a step towards a more occupationally just global society. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal, 64 2: 129-136. doi:10.1111/1440-1630.12321


Author Crawford, Emma
Aplin, Tammy
Rodger, Sylvia
Title Human rights in occupational therapy education: a step towards a more occupationally just global society
Journal name Australian Occupational Therapy Journal   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1440-1630
0045-0766
Publication date 2016-06-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.1111/1440-1630.12321
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 64
Issue 2
Start page 129
End page 136
Total pages 8
Place of publication Richmond, VIC, Australia
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing Asia
Language eng
Subject 3609 Occupational Therapy
Abstract Background/aim: Education on human rights will place occupational therapists in a strong position to address societal inequities that limit occupational engagement for many client groups. The imminent changes to the Minimum Standard for the Education of Occupational Therapists engender efforts towards social change and will require university-level human rights education. This education might enhance the profession's influence on disadvantaging social structures in order to effect social change. To contribute to the evidence base for social change education in occupational therapy, this research aims to understand the knowledge, skills, confidence and learning experiences of occupational therapy students who completed a human rights course. Methods: Final year occupational therapy students responded to questionnaires which included listing human rights, a human rights scale measuring knowledge and confidence for working towards human rights, and open questions. Numbers of rights listed, knowledge scores and confidence scores were calculated. Responses to the open questions were thematically analysed. Results: After completing a human rights course, students had good knowledge and moderate confidence to work with human rights. Three themes were identified including ‘learning about human rights’, ‘learning about structural, societal and global perspectives on occupational engagement’ and ‘learning how occupational therapists can work with groups, communities and populations: becoming articulate and empowered’. Conclusions: Human rights education fosters the development of occupational therapists who are skilled, knowledgeable, confident and empowered to address occupational injustices, according to these research findings. To develop a more occupationally just global society, education that considers iniquitous social structures and human rights is necessary.
Formatted abstract
Background/aim: Education on human rights will placeoccupational therapists in a strong position to address societal inequities that limit occupational engagement for many client groups. The imminent changes to the Minimum Standard for the Education of Occupational Therapists engender efforts towards social change and will require university-level human rights education. This education might enhance the profession’s influence on disadvantaging social structures in order to effect social change. To contribute to the evidence base for social change education in occupational therapy, this research aims to understand the knowledge, skills, confidence and learning experiences of occupational therapy students who completed a human rights course.

Methods: Final year occupational therapy students responded to questionnaires which included listing human rights, a human rights scale measuring knowledge and confidence for working towards human rights, and open questions. Numbers of rights listed, knowledge scores and confidence scores were calculated. Responses to the open questions were thematically analysed.

Results: After completing a human rights course, students had good knowledge and moderate confidence to work with human rights. Three themes were identified including ‘learning about human rights’, ‘learning about structural, societal and global perspectives on occupational engagement’ and ‘learning how occupational therapists can work with groups, communities and populations: becoming articulate and empowered’.

Conclusions: Human rights education fosters the development of occupational therapists who are skilled, knowledgeable, confident and empowered to address occupational injustices, according to these research findings. To develop a more occupationally just global society, education that considers iniquitous social structures and human rights is necessary.
Keyword Health status disparities
Human rights
Occupational justice
Occupational therapy education
Vulnerable population
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
Collections: HERDC Pre-Audit
School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences Publications
 
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Created: Thu, 11 Aug 2016, 19:49:47 EST by Emma Crawford on behalf of School of Health & Rehabilitation Sciences