Occupational therapy entry-level education scholarship in Australia from 2000 to 2019: A systematic mapping review.
INTRODUCTION:The number of occupational therapy degree programs in Australia has increased substantially over the last decade. During this time, Australian academics have produced a significant amount of scholarship focussed on entry-level education; however, the landscape of this scholarship has not been examined. The aim of this study was to review the literature on the scholarship of entry-level Australian occupational therapy education programs, specifically the topics explored and methods employed. METHODS:An extensive search of nine databases produced 1,002 papers related to occupational therapy education. Two researchers screened each paper using inclusion and exclusion criteria. Seventy-six articles, published between 2000 and September 2019, were included. Data were extracted using a coding tool, and entered into NVivo, where data were analysed using queries and tallies of the characteristics of the articles. RESULTS:Sixty-eight articles were research and eight were other peer reviewed literature. Articles primarily focussed on student characteristics and perceptions. Quantitative research designs were predominant with surveys the most frequently used method. There were few articles that addressed the topic of teaching methods and approaches, and of these none addressed occupation-centred teaching. No articles addressed the learning environment. Four articles reported on an educational intervention that targeted participation, and attitudes/perceptions or knowledge/skills of students and/or academics. These findings inform understanding about what has been completed so far in the scholarship; and what topic focus and research designs could address gaps in existing knowledge. CONCLUSIONS:This review elucidated topics that have been well researched (student focus), as well as gaps in the scholarship (teaching methods and approaches including occupation-centred teaching, and the learning environment). It showed that quantitative designs were predominant, with qualitative approaches less frequently adopted. The results of this review could assist academics and researchers to focus their scholarship on topics that require further investigation and diversify research methods.
Roberts, M; Hooper, B; Molineux, M
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