Preparation for an uncertain world: international curriculum development for mental health occupational therapy

Katherine Wimpenny, L. Lewis, Sarah Roe, Huget Desiron, Imogen Gordon, Sue Waters

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Abstract

Occupational therapy graduates are entering an increasingly complex practice landscape, particularly in the field of mental health. Moreover, the role of higher education in effectively preparing graduates for the challenges they face in an uncertain world is still developing. An innovative, international online learning module involving three countries (United Kingdom, South Africa & Belguim) was created with the aim to improve graduates’ preparedness for practice. A total of 215 final year occupational therapy students’ engagement in an on-line discussion forum was analysed using case study design. The study revealed significant increases in inter-cultural sensitivity amongst students measured pre and post project, alongside numerous challenges in engagement and learning. Augmented learning opportunities within the curriculum are argued as vital to equip graduates with enhanced agency, greater resilience and improved tolerance for managing complexity. Further research is required to enable graduates to be better prepared for practice and to develop skills to help navigate and mange the ‘not knowing’.
Publisher Statement: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) Bulletin on 30th March 2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/14473828.2016.1161960  

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-15
Number of pages11
JournalWorld Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) Bulletin
Volume72
Issue number1
Early online date30 Mar 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) Bulletin on 30th March 2016, available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/14473828.2016.1161960

Keywords

  • Occupational therapy
  • Mental health
  • Online international learning
  • Cultural competence
  • Professional practice

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