Abstract

In this study, the attitudes of 348 occupational therapy educators, practitioners, and students were assessed concerning the perceived role of the practitioner. The three groups’ perceptions of the practitioner’s role offers a starting point from which changes in education and practice can be made to reflect the profession’s pending decisions concerning physical modalities, unification of theory and practice, and status of the profession. A 4-point Likert scale was used to measure the subjects’ responses to 19 statements on major professional issues concerning occupational therapy’s unique philosophical base, the appropriateness of certain treatment modalities, and the profession’s future focus. One-way analyses of variance, Student-Newman-Keuls (Winer, 1971) procedures, and t tests were performed to identify attitudinal differences by respondent type, specialty area, and length of clinical experience. The results indicated agreement among all respondents that occupational therapists should be skilled in analyzing activities and that occupational therapy services should be covered by third-party payment. Additionally, strong attitudinal differences were identified among educators, practitioners, and students regarding treatment modalities and therapists’ role characteristics.

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