Human Trafficking: An Evaluation of Doctoral Occupational Therapy Students’ Awareness, Knowledge, Self-efficacy, and Future Training

Sarbinaz Bekmuratova, Arduizur Carli Richie-Zavaleta, Catherine Boyle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although there is limited empirical research that evaluates human trafficking (HT) knowledge base and self-efficacy among healthcare professionals and frontline personnel, there is no previous research that evaluates the awareness, knowledge, and self-efficacy of occupational therapists (OT). OTs, given their professional training and skills, have an important role in the holistic rehabilitation of trafficked persons. Therefore, this study assessed the awareness, knowledgeand self-efficacy, as well as perspectives for future academic training ideas in HT among doctoral OT students (N = 67) who represented two regions of the U.S. (Midwestern and Western). The data were collected through an online cross-sectional survey in June 2020. The findings suggest that doctoral OT students possessed limited knowledge and low self-efficacy in potentially assisting trafficked persons in the rehabilitation process. Yet, they recognized the importance of HT knowledge as an integral component of their academic training and shared how HT content should be incorporated into their future training. Implications and recommendations for OT education and practice to improve the knowledge base of OT students on HT are provided. This research also further supports the need for policies requiring training of future health care providers equipped to identify and intervene on behalf of trafficked persons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Human Trafficking
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Demography
  • Anthropology
  • Transportation
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Law

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