Research Article
Issue Date: November 02, 2015
Published Online: November 03, 2015
Updated: June 13, 2018
Benefits of Student Engagement in Intervention Research
Author Affiliations
  • Jaclyn K. Schwartz, PhD, OTR/L, is Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences, Florida International University, Miami;
  • Roger O. Smith, PhD, OT, FAOTA, is Professor, Department of Occupational Science and Technology, College of Health Sciences, and Director, Rehabilitation Research Design and Disability Center, University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee
Article Information
Education of OTs and OTAs / Professional Issues
Research Article   |   November 02, 2015
Benefits of Student Engagement in Intervention Research
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November 2015, Vol. 69, 6912185050.
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November 2015, Vol. 69, 6912185050.

OBJECTIVE. Accreditation standards require entry-level occupational therapy students to understand, critique, and design research. However, the extent to which students should be embedded in research projects is unclear. The purpose of this study was to understand the benefits of student immersion in research for student learning and research quality.

METHOD. Using a multiple case study design, the principal investigator trained six occupational therapy students to implement a manualized intervention with research participants. Learning quizzes, video analysis of research activities, a practical exam, student documentation, an exit interview, and an exit survey identified student learning and research outcomes.

RESULTS. Students successfully implemented the study protocols with good reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient = .89) and fidelity (99%). Students also reported improvements in comfort with client interactions, confidence in practice skills, self-efficacy in research, and clinical reasoning.

CONCLUSION. Student participation in hands-on research supports researchers in attaining their research goals and provides students with valuable learning experiences.