Free
Research Article  |   March 2005
Genetics in Occupational Therapy Education: A Survey of Professional Entry-Level Programs
Author Affiliations
  • Elizabeth M. Kanny, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, is Associate Professor and Head, Division of Occupational Therapy, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Box 356490, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington 98195; ekanny@u.washington.edu
  • Rebecca Smith, OTR/L, is Occupational Therapist, Harborview Medical Center, Seattle, Washington. At the time of this study she was a Master of Occupational Therapy Student, Division of Occupational Therapy, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
  • Brian J. Dudgeon, PhD, OTR, FAOTA, is Assistant Professor, Division of Occupational Therapy, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
Article Information
Education of OTs and OTAs / Occupational Therapy Education
Research Article   |   March 2005
Genetics in Occupational Therapy Education: A Survey of Professional Entry-Level Programs
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March/April 2005, Vol. 59, 165-172. doi:10.5014/ajot.59.2.165
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March/April 2005, Vol. 59, 165-172. doi:10.5014/ajot.59.2.165
Abstract

PURPOSE. Advances in genetics indicate a need for occupational therapists to develop literacy and skills in genetics as it relates to lifestyle and occupation. The purpose of this study is to identify genetics content areas taught, instructional methods used, and the importance of teaching genetics at the entry-level in occupational therapy curricula.

METHOD. A questionnaire was sent to all entry-level occupational therapy educational programs (N = 157). Structured mailing and follow-up were used.

RESULTS. The response rate was 63.9%. Most respondents (47%) rate teaching genetics as “moderately important.” Genetics content is predominately taught at the introductory or knowledge level rather than at the integration and application level. Respondents indicate a lack of time and space for genetics content and of faculty interest and expertise.

DISCUSSION. As occupational therapy practice evolves to include new genetics, curriculum change will need to be implemented. Development of teaching materials and methods addressing genetics is recommended.