Experiences of occupational therapy students in the first fieldwork education: A qualitative study

Mehdi Rezaee, Mehdi Rassafiani, Hamidreza Khankeh, Mohammad Ali Hosseini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Fieldwork education is a core part of all occupational therapy curriculums around the world to enable the students meet minimum competencies required for their professional life. Student experience is a valuable source to explore the nature of fieldwork training and plan more efficient curriculums in the future. This study aimed to explore the students' experiences in the first fieldwork education.

Methods: Data were collected through a focus group and series of semi-structured interviews with 16 occupational therapy students who had passed the first semester of fieldwork education at three occupational therapy departments in Iran. The interviews were transcribed line by line and analyzed according to inductive content analysis.

Results: Following the analysis of the data, three main themes were identified including the importance of supervisors’ management, deficits in the current curriculum and challenges in the educational environment. Each theme included different categories to show students’ concerns and challenges in the first fieldwork education experience and their suggestions for more efficient trainings.

Conclusion: The research argues that several combined key factors determine the nature and utility of occupational therapy (OT) fieldwork experiences of the students. However, further studies are needed to clarify the experiences of the supervisors, department managers and others involved in the fieldwork education.

Keywords: Clinical education, Occupational tTherapy student, Professional education, Qualitative research
Original languageEnglish
Article number110
Number of pages12
JournalMedical Journal of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Issue number110
Publication statusPublished - 22 Oct 2014


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