Practice educators’ emphasis on research in supervision of occupational therapy students

Scand J Occup Ther. 2021 Aug 27:1-15. doi: 10.1080/11038128.2021.1968948. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: One approach to promote students’ use of research in future practice involves integrating students’ research use in supervision during practice placements. Studies examining this aspect of supervision in practice placements are lacking.

AIM: To explore how practice educators perceive and emphasise research in their supervision of occupational therapy students during practice placements.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A qualitative study was conducted. A purposive sample was recruited, consisting of participants from community-based health services and hospitals in Norway. We conducted three focus groups and one individual interview with occupational therapists (n = 9). The qualitative data analysis was based on interpretive description.

RESULTS: We identified four themes: ’emphasis on research in supervision of students’; ‘practice educators’ research competence and awareness of research’; ‘institutionalisation of research use in everyday practice’; and ‘communication and cooperation between education and practice regarding research’. Despite highlighting several benefits of research use, the practice educators focused rarely on students’ research use in practice placements. Conclusions and significance: Cooperation between practice educators and faculty members regarding students’ training in research use seems essential. Practice educators may need additional training in how research should be emphasised in supervision.

PMID:34448439 | DOI:10.1080/11038128.2021.1968948

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