Date Presented 04/22/2023

This project evaluated the impact of an educational human trafficking (HT) intervention on the knowledge and self-efficacy of doctoral OT students, and findings have implications for OT practice, education, and future research.

Primary Author and Speaker: Ashlynn Castellón

Additional Authors and Speakers: Sarbinaz Bekmuratova, Andrea Thinnes

Contributing Authors: Yongyue Qi, Carli Richie-Zavaleta

Healthcare professionals have a significant role in the identification and recovery process of human trafficking (HT) victims and survivors, however, due to a lack of training, they often miss the opportunities to intervene when they encounter victims of HT in their practice. This research aimed to evaluate the impact of an educational intervention on the knowledge and self-efficacy of current doctoral occupational therapy (OT) students. The study used a pretest-posttest research design in which 80 students completed identical anonymous surveys before and after the educational intervention to assess the impact of the intervention on their knowledge and self-efficacy. The educational intervention was a panel in which two survivors of HT and two OTs who worked with survivors of HT shared their experiences. The survey consisted of 29 closed-ended, open-ended and demographic questions that measured knowledge of the intersection of OT and HT, self-efficacy in assisting survivors of HT in their future clinical practice and how students will use newly acquired knowledge in future practice. Bivariate and univariate analyses were performed to analyze quantitative data and thematic analysis was used to analyze qualitative data. Students’ knowledge and self-efficacy on HT had a statistically significant increase in familiarity with needs of survivors of HT and the role of OT, developing treatment plans and building rapport using trauma-informed care. Students produced qualitative responses for planned application to future practice in four primary themes. The research findings have significant implications for OT practice and education. OT programs should consider developing and incorporating HT training through modes such as educational panels to equip students with essential HT knowledge and skills. This will improve service provision and care coordination to provide holistic trauma-informed rehabilitate care to survivors of HT in various OT settings


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