Date Presented 04/21/2023
Mixed-methods study demonstrating the effectiveness of an occupation-based intervention in promoting OT student well-being. Significant interaction effects were found for well-being, self-compassion, engagement in meaningful occupations, and occupational balance.
Primary Author and Speaker: Elena Wong Espiritu
IMPORTANCE: Occupational therapy students experience stress during their academic programs, which negatively impacts well-being. Interventions focused on promoting graduate student well-being are limited. Objective: To evaluate the effectiveness of an occupation-based intervention in promoting occupational therapy student well-being.
DESIGN: Quantitative results from convergent mixed methods study presented. Participants: Forty-one entry-level doctoral students from multiple cohorts within a single university system assigned to intervention (n = 18) or control (n = 23) groups.
INTERVENTION: Manualized intervention included six – 45-minute virtual synchronous sessions delivered once per week with content on self-compassion, engagement in meaningful occupations, and occupational balance. Curriculum developed, piloted, and delivered by primary investigator. Outcomes and Measures: Data collected via 14-item Scales of General Well-Being, Self-compassion Scale – short form, Engagement in Meaningful Activities Survey, and Occupational Balance Questionnaire 11 at three time points (pre-intervention, immediately post-intervention, six weeks post-intervention).
RESULTS: Significant interaction effects between time and group for well-being (F(2, 78) = 3.92, p = .024, ηp2 = .09; self-compassion F(2, 78) = 5.53, p = .006, ηp2 = .12; engagement in meaningful occupations F(2, 78) = 4.47, p = .014, ηp2 = .10), indicating medium effect sizes. Significant occupational balance main effects for time F(2, 78) =13.89, p ≤ .001, ηp2 = .26 and group F(1, 39) = 8.79, p = .005, ηp2 = .18, with large effect sizes.
CONCLUSION AND RELEVANCE: Findings suggest the occupation-based intervention is effective, leading to increased occupational therapy student well-being, self-compassion, engagement in meaningful occupation, and occupational balance. Intentional focus on well-being also has the potential to impact students’ well-being in the future as they transition into practitioners.
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