Background: Research into occupational therapy education and its outcomes for students is growing. More research is needed to determine the factors of importance for occupational therapy students’ academic outcomes. This study aimed to investigate factors associated with academic performance among second-year undergraduate occupational therapy students in Norway.

Methods: Occupational therapy students (n = 111) from two education programs completed questionnaires asking for sociodemographic, work-related, and education-related information. Hierarchical linear regression analysis was used to examine factors independently associated with the students’ academic performance.

Results: A higher age was associated with better average academic performance among the students, whereas having higher education experience before entering the occupational therapy program was associated with poorer average academic performance.

Conclusions: Students of a higher age may have life experience that easily translates into good academic results, and they may represent an under-used resource for improving the academic climate and understanding subsequent exam results among undergraduate occupational therapy students. However, prior higher education experience from disciplines different from occupational therapy, and that hold different expectations toward students, may hinder good academic performance in occupational therapy coursework.


Dr. Bonsaksen reports no potential conflicts of interest.