Work. 2022 Jul 29. doi: 10.3233/WOR-210313. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Due to the rising rates of obesity in the United States, healthcare professionals will likely be seeing individuals from this population more frequently in service provision settings.
OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a self-directed online education program entitled BOOTH: Bariatrics, Obesity, and Occupational THerapy; How we can help. The educational program was directed to occupational therapy practitioners and occupational therapy students and designed to increase knowledge of obesity and bariatric care.
METHODS: A convergent parallel mixed methods design was used in which the quantitative component was a one-group quasi-experiment with pre- and post-measurement. Surveys with Likert-style rating and open-ended questions were administered prior to the program and following completion.
RESULTS: Paired samples t-testing revealed significant differences (p < 0.05) between pre- and post-program rated survey questions, which indicated an increase in perceived knowledge in the main topic areas. Qualitative data corroborated these findings, as most of the participants initially expressed concern about not being well-informed on obesity and bariatric care prior to taking the course.
CONCLUSION: More education is needed on obesity and bariatric care for occupational therapy practitioners and occupational therapy students. An online education program was demonstrated to be an effective way of increasing knowledge on this important topic to reduce work-related injury.
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