Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3696-1255

Document Type

Dissertation

Date of Award

2022

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Health Science

First Advisor

Ranelle M Nissen

Abstract

The process of transitioning from high school to higher education and from academic programs outside of the health sciences to the workplace is documented; however, the transitional experiences of those in the health professions and occupational therapy specifically are less understood. This dissertation research aimed to identify the formal accommodations and informal adaptations occupational therapy students and entry-level practitioners have employed to address their mental health needs as they transition from the classroom to fieldwork or capstone and entry-level practice. The link between empirical literature, theories surrounding transitions, and the Occupational Adaptation Model provided the foundation for this research. This dissertation research included a scoping review and an explanatory sequential mixed-methods study. The scoping review identified common adaptive responses used among students in graduate-level education programs and employees in work-related settings who have mental health conditions to accommodate for symptom management in daily activities. The quantitative phase of the mixed-methods study employed a survey of occupational therapy students in the didactic portion of the curriculum, students on fieldwork or capstone, and entry-level practitioners to identify the extent that they rated commonly provided academic and work-related mental health accommodations as effective for meeting role demands in each setting. The qualitative phase of the mixed-methods study used a generic qualitative approach to explore how occupational therapy students in the didactic portion of the curriculum, students on fieldwork or capstone, and entry-level practitioners described the effectiveness of translating accommodations for mental health concerns as they progressed to each new setting. The integration of quantitative and qualitative findings assisted in identifying role-specific measures for promoting successful transitions from the classroom to clinical practice. Implications are noted for occupational therapy research, education, and practice.

Subject Categories

Occupational Therapy

Keywords

Accommodations, Mental Health, Occupational Therapy, Transitions

Number of Pages

175

Publisher

University of South Dakota

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