Academic journal article British Journal of Occupational Therapy

An Exploration of the Awareness and Perceptions of Palliative Care in Undergraduate Occupational Therapy Students Prior to Entering the Workforce

Academic journal article British Journal of Occupational Therapy

An Exploration of the Awareness and Perceptions of Palliative Care in Undergraduate Occupational Therapy Students Prior to Entering the Workforce

Article excerpt

Napier University, 2008. MSc in Palliative Care.

It is currently unclear how well occupational therapy undergraduates are being prepared to be able to provide effective interventions for people with palliative care needs in either specialist palliative care or generalist settings. This is important as palliative care becomes increasingly recognised as appropriate for a wide spectrum of life-limiting conditions.

The purpose of this study was to explore the awareness and perceptions about palliative care in occupational therapy undergraduates as they enter the workforce. It also aimed to explore their confidence in required competencies and identify perceived gaps.

A qualitative approach was taken using a phenomenological framework. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with seven undergraduates completing their final year of a pre-registration BSc in Occupational Therapy at two Scottish universities.

The findings showed that the participants had received no formal teaching about palliative care within their pre-registration education. Although they had an overall awareness about palliative care, they perceived it as mainly applicable to end-of-life and lacked awareness of its role in symptom management or the application alongside active treatment. They identified under-confidence in relevant knowledge base and symptom management but reasonable confidence in profession-specific skills. …

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