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Brittney N. Burton, OTR, MOT
Mary F. Baxter, OT, PhD, FAOTA


Background: This study examined the effects of the leisure activity of coloring on the anxiety levels of graduate level occupational therapy students after taking a high stress exam. This study also examined the effects of the leisure activity of coloring on the students’ perceptions of preparedness for and performance on the exam.

Method: The participants were recruited for this quantitative, pre/posttest study through a purposive convenience sample and randomly assigned to either the leisure activity or the control. A self-report assessment was used for data collection. The changes in anxiety levels were examined using a repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA). Independent sample t-tests were performed to compare means of the change in anxiety levels, the participants’ perceptions of outcomes on the previous tests, and their perceptions of preparedness for the tests.

Results: The participants who participated in the leisure activity of coloring demonstrated a significantly greater reduction in anxiety levels than the participants in the control. Perceptions of performance on and preparedness for the previous tests did not differ between the groups.

Conclusion: The findings support using the leisure activity of coloring as an effective tool for the reduction of post-test anxiety in graduate level occupational therapy students.


The authors report they have no conflicts of interest to disclose.