This cost–benefit study of Level II (professional-level) fieldwork included 180 student–supervisor pairs from 12 occupational therapy educational programs. Costs and benefits were measured in time (valued at market rates) spent by students in patient treatment and by supervisors in fieldwork-related duties. Various factors were also evaluated to determine their relationship to overall cost or benefit.
Results indicated a mean benefit of $4,700 for 12-week placements. Costs generated in the first few weeks of placement were generally recovered by the 6th week, with benefits gradually increasing, then declining slightly through the end of the fieldwork. Greater economic benefits resulted from physical dysfunction and psychiatric placements than from pediatric placements, and with second and third student experiences as compared with first experiences.