Embedding research within occupational therapy pre-registration training: A concept mapping study engaging staff and student voices

Katie L Hackett*, Helen Atkin, Sureshkumar Kamalakannan, Savannah Murray-Mendes, Julie Anne Lowe, Phillip Whitehead, Gemma Bradley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Introduction
Occupational therapists require research and evaluation skills to deliver evidence-based care, making research education integral to their training. We aimed to develop a student and staff-informed strategy, to further embed research into the occupational therapy programmes and enhance the research culture at a UK Higher Education Institution (HEI).

Method
We used group concept mapping (GCM) to gather ideas from students and staff on how to embed research and improve research culture within the occupational therapy programmes at a UK HEI. Participants generated, sorted, and rated ideas for importance and success. We analysed the data to create a concept map and identified rating values for the themed clusters and their ideas.

Results
The concept map contained four themed clusters of ideas: Wider research community, Integration of research into the core programme, Advanced research support & capacity building, and Research awareness. Successes and improvement targets were identified within each cluster.

Conclusion
GCM provided a structured and comprehensive method to develop a strategy for embedding research and fostering a research culture in occupational therapy programs at an HEI. The four-themed concept map and identified priority targets serve as a foundation for implementing the strategy and improving research integration in occupational therapy education.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBritish Journal of Occupational Therapy
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 18 Apr 2024

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