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Tore Bonsaksen, MSc; Anne-Stine Dolva, PhD; Sissel Horghagen, PhD; Unni Sveen, PhD; Cathrine Hagby, BSc; Cathrine Arntzen, PhD

Abstract

As enrollment numbers grow in occupational therapy academic programs in Norway, the need for more fieldwork placements and supervisors increases. More knowledge about factors of importance for occupational therapists’ decisions to take on the role of fieldwork supervisor may promote easier access to supervisors who are ready for the task, and it may assist in addressing the barriers for those who are not. We recruited a sample of 561 community-working occupational therapists for an electronic survey conducted in 2017. Quantitative survey responses were obtained and used in the current study. The differences between supervisors and non-supervisors were examined with independent t-tests and Chi Square tests. To assess factors associated with serving as a supervisor, a multivariate logistic regression analysis was conducted. One hundred fifty-six participants (27.8%) had served as a fieldwork supervisor during the preceding year. The adjusted analysis showed that having a job physically located together with other occupational therapists was significantly associated with increased odds for serving as supervisor (OR:1.79, 95% CI:1.17-2.74, p < 0.01). A minority of the participants had supervised occupational therapy students during the preceding year, suggesting that community-based services are an under-used arena for occupational therapy students’ fieldwork. In a long-term perspective, providing social and organizational support for occupational therapists who might take on student supervision may increase their willingness and opportunity to do so.

Comments

The authors report grants from Ergoterapeutene (The Norwegian Occupational Therapy Association), during the conduct of the study.

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