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Lynne Andonian, PhD, OTR/L


Background: This study explored the relationship of perceived self-efficacy to demographic and fieldwork variables for occupational therapy (OT) students. Self-efficacy is related to student and employee success and competency.

Methods: OT students (n = 306) from 42 OT programs in the United States completed the Student Confidence Questionnaire and the Demographic Questionnaire and Survey addressing demographics, practice setting, students’ experience of supervision, and perceptions of the fieldwork’s personal meaning during Level II fieldwork. Correlational and regression methods examined the relationships among the variables. Analysis of variance methods tested differences between higher and lower self-efficacy student groups.

Results: The degree of self-efficacy was related to students’ experience of supervision, prior professional experience, and the meaningfulness of the fieldwork to the student. As the students’ perceived self-efficacy increased, their perception of the supervisory relationship as supportive increased.

Conclusion: Recommendations for further research include investigating how to imbue meaning in the fieldwork experience to foster student self-efficacy. The study results inform academic and fieldwork educators of the need to cultivate students’ self-efficacy to help students integrate feedback and actively participate in the supervisory relationship during Level II fieldwork.