Abstract

The purpose of this descriptive study is to investigate the perceptions of occupational therapists working in school-based settings regarding their level of preparation for practice. The Survey of School-Based Practice was mailed to 1,102 occupational therapists working in school-based practice (SBP) throughout the United States. The mailing was based on a random sampling of 20% of the School System Special Interest Section of the American Occupational Therapy Association. Results were based on 450 returned completed surveys representing a response rate of 41%. The results were analyzed according to the respondents years of experience in SBP, entry (less than 3 years), transitioning from another practice setting with less than 1 year in SBP, and experienced with 3 or more years experience in SBP. The results indicated the majority of occupational therapists perceive themselves to be poorly prepared for this practice area based on entry-level education alone. Statistically significant differences were seen between continuing education needs and level of experience in SBP. Continuing education and mentoring were most often listed by therapists as preparing them for SBP. Implications for the profession are discussed.

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