Date Presented 04/22/2023

The study assessed whether implementation of targeted training for educators affected understanding of the role of OT in school settings. Significant results were obtained to indicate increased educator satisfaction.

Primary Author and Speaker: Matia Gjellstad

Contributing Authors: Kayla Lindquist, Morgan Ziesch, Brooke Selvey, Darian Harris

The purpose of this quantitative research study was to determine if implementation of targeted programming for educators impacted understanding of the role of occupational therapy in school settings.

BACKGROUND: Positive correlations have been established between implementation of educational training and special educator understanding of the role of school-based occupational therapy practitioners (SBOTPs). A gap in the literature was identified regarding training with general education teachers.

METHODS: This quantitative study utilized pre- and post-test design to assess educator satisfaction across seven measures utilizing 5-point Likert scales. Data were analyzed using Shapiro-Wilk tests for normality, simple comparison of means, and Paired Samples T-Test.

RESULTS: A total of N=91 responses were received from various disciplines in school-based practice, including n=24 educator participants for the pre-test survey and n=27 educator participants for the post-test survey. Meaningful mean differences were identified for educators from pre-test to post-test across all satisfaction measures, including: 1) knowledge of SBOTP role, 2) awareness of implementation of SBOTP strategies, 3) understanding what SBOTPs addressed with students, 4) resources and ideas provided by SBOTPs, 5) amount of time SBOTPs communicated and collaborated, 6) knowledge about IDEA in relation to SBOT, and 7) understanding of student referral for SBOT services. Paired t-test results indicated statistically significant results across all measures except satisfaction with SBOTP communication and collaboration.

CONCLUSIONS: Results indicated meaningful and statistically significant effectiveness of implementation of targeted training to increase educator satisfaction with understanding of the role of school-based OTPs.


Christner, A. (2015). Promoting the role of occupational therapy in school-based collaboration: Outcome project. Journal of Occupational Therapy, Schools, & Early Intervention, 8(2), 136–148.

Bradley, E., Hassett, E., Mazza, A., & Abraham, G. (2020). General education teachers’ perspectives on collaboration with OTs in the school setting. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 74(41), 7411505163p1.

Benson, J. D., Szucs, K. A., & Mejasic, J. J. (2016). Teachers’ perceptions of the role of occupational therapy in schools. Journal of Occupational Therapy, Schools, and Early Intervention, 9(3), 290–301.

Gjellstad, M. (2020) 3:1 model of occupational therapy service delivery: Impact on teacher ratings and perceptions of efficacy. [Unpublished doctoral dissertation]. University of Mary.