Listening and communication styles of undergraduate occupational therapy students: a cross-sectional study

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Abstract:

Background: Listening and communication are two critical aspects of positive relationships. In the context of health care, they have been found to have a positive impact on many aspects of client care, including patient satisfaction, emotional wellbeing, and functional and physiological status. However, little is understood about the specific listening and communication styles exhibited by students enrolled in the health-related disciplines, including occupational therapy. The aim of this study was to investigate the listening and communication styles of undergraduate occupational therapy students.

Method: This was a cross-sectional study of 210 students (response rate of 95.5%) enrolled in a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (BOT) course, who completed paper-based versions of the Listening Styles Profile (LSP) and the Communicator Style Measure (CSM). Both the LSP and CSM are valid and reliable measures.

Results: Participants reported a strong preference for the People listening style and the Friendly and Attentive communication styles. A moderate preference was also shown for the Content listening style. There were only two minor differences between participants enrolled in the different year levels of the BOT course, and only minor differences between the male and female students.

Conclusion: The participants' reported preferences are well suited for the role of occupational therapy. The findings suggest that occupational therapy students exhibit a disposition towards listening and communication styles that are indicative of an underlying interest in the care and welfare of others and which are traits of the 'helping, people-oriented' professions. The implications of these findings are that it is important to consider the listening and communication styles of occupational therapy students during their professional education and while completing practice placement education.

Keywords: COMMUNICATION STYLES; EDUCATION; LISTENING STYLES; OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY STUDENTS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.4276/030802211X13125646370933

Publication date: August 1, 2011

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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