Prisca M. Collins, PhD, PTCynthia Carr, DrOT, MS, OTR/L
Lack of awareness and knowledge of the occupational therapy (OT) and physical therapy (PT) professions has been cited as a barrier to consideration of these professions as career options. This study examined the types of exposure to, knowledge of, and career interest in OT and PT of students from underrepresented minority (URM) and non-Hispanic White and Asian American (NHW-AA) populations. A questionnaire was administered to a convenience sample of 150 high school and undergraduate college students. Demographic data and student responses to questions regarding exposure to, knowledge of, and career interest in OT and PT were collected. Descriptive statistics and chi-square tests of association were computed, and qualitative data were analyzed for themes. The study findings revealed limited exposure to and knowledge of the OT profession among URM and NHW-AA students. Even though participants from both groups showed better knowledge about PT, they reported limited to no interest in the professions as careers. Further research is needed to examine contextual factors that may influence student perceptions of the OT and PT professions, including how clinical encounters can best be leveraged to improve public knowledge and consideration of these professions as careers for high school and undergraduate college students.
Collins, P. M., & Carr, C. (2018). Exposure to, Knowledge of, and Interest in Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy as Career Options. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 6(2). https://doi.org/10.15453/2168-6408.1357