Promoting awareness and understanding of occupational therapy and physical therapy in young school aged children: An interdisciplinary approach

Keli Mu, Charlotte Royeen, Karen Paschal, Andrea M. Zardetto-Smith

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Public awareness and understanding of the professions of occupational therapy and physical therapy are limited. In this study, we examined perceptions of young school-aged children about occupational therapy and physical therapy as part of a larger grant project funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (R25 DA12168 and R25 DAI3522). One hundred three elementary school children (55 boys and 48 girls), grades 3 to 7, from local schools attended a one-day neuroscience and allied health profession exposition held at a local Boys & Girls Club. Children's understanding of occupational therapy and physical therapy was assessed through a pre/post questionnaire prior to and immediately after attending the exposition. At five of the 18 exhibition booths, faculty members and students from occupational therapy and physical therapy introduced and explained what occupational and physical therapists do at their work through interactive demonstrations. The results of the current study revealed that prior to attending the exposition, children's understanding of occupational therapy and physical therapy was limited. On pre-test, children reported they have some understanding of occupational therapy (18.6%) and physical therapy (34.9%). Children's understanding of occupational therapy and physical therapy, however, dramatically increased after the exposition (75.60/0 vs. 18.6%, 98.9% vs. 34.9%, respectively). Furthermore, the scope and depth of children's understanding also improved considerably. This finding suggests that an interactive neuroscience exposition including occupational therapy and physical therapy is an effective way to promote children's awareness and understanding of the professions. Implications for practice and future research directions are discussed in the study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInterprofessional Collaboration in Occupational Therapy
PublisherTaylor and Francis Inc.
Pages89-100
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9780203049426
ISBN (Print)9780789019035
StatePublished - Dec 6 2012

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Medicine(all)
  • Health Professions(all)

Cite this

Mu, K., Royeen, C., Paschal, K., & Zardetto-Smith, A. M. (2012). Promoting awareness and understanding of occupational therapy and physical therapy in young school aged children: An interdisciplinary approach. In Interprofessional Collaboration in Occupational Therapy (pp. 89-100). Taylor and Francis Inc..