OBJECTIVE. Accreditation standards require entry-level occupational therapy students to understand, critique, and design research. However, the extent to which students should be embedded in research projects is unclear. The purpose of this study was to understand the benefits of student immersion in research for student learning and research quality.
METHOD. Using a multiple case study design, the principal investigator trained six occupational therapy students to implement a manualized intervention with research participants. Learning quizzes, video analysis of research activities, a practical exam, student documentation, an exit interview, and an exit survey identified student learning and research outcomes.
RESULTS. Students successfully implemented the study protocols with good reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient = .89) and fidelity (99%). Students also reported improvements in comfort with client interactions, confidence in practice skills, self-efficacy in research, and clinical reasoning.
CONCLUSION. Student participation in hands-on research supports researchers in attaining their research goals and provides students with valuable learning experiences.