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Occupational therapy students' consideration of clients' spirituality in practice placement education

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Spirituality in occupational therapy has become more prominent through research and discussion over the last decade. This study aimed to examine further the topic of occupational therapists' inclusion of spirituality in their practice through exploring the experiences of occupational therapy students. The study investigated students' consideration and understanding of spirituality in practice after undertaking all their degree course placements.

A simplified grounded theory approach was used. Semi-structured interviews with six occupational therapy students explored their experiences and opinions regarding spirituality. A qualitative data analysis of the transcripts, using the Atlas. ti package, was the basis on which the findings were grounded.

The findings showed that it was the participants' opinions that spirituality was not covered well during their occupational therapy education. Other barriers to considering spirituality included the lack of a clear definition, omission from assessment forms and the perceptions of other staff. The participants' narratives indicated that they did not overtly focus on or consider spirituality during their practice placement education. However, all the participants discussed spirituality, in varying ways, with some of their clients. The findings from this study imply the need for specific education on recognising and addressing spirituality for students of occupational therapy.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: October 1, 2009

More about this publication?
  • The British Journal of Occupational Therapy (BJOT) is the official journal of the College of Occupational Therapists. Its purpose is to publish articles relevant to theory, practice, research, education and management in occupational therapy internationally.

    BJOT publishes research articles, critical reviews, practice analyses, opinion pieces, editorials, letters to the editor, book reviews and an annual index. Please refer to the author's guide at http://www.cot.co.uk/british-journal-bjot/british-journal-occupational-therapy

    Submissions can be made at http://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/bjot

    The 2013 Impact Factor for The British Journal of Occupational Therapy is 0.897.

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