Exploring the relationship between resilience and practice education placement success in occupational therapy students

Ted Brown, Mong Lin Yu, Alana E. Hewitt, Stephen T. Isbel, Thomas Bevitt, Jamie Etherington

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction: Practice education is a fundamental component of health professional students’ education and many personal, social and professional factors impact on students’ performance. This study investigated the relationship between measures of resilience and practice education performance in occupational therapy students. Methods: A quantitative cross-sectional study was used to collect the data. In all, 149 occupational therapy students completed a self-report questionnaire comprised of demographic questions and two standardised scales: Resilience at University (RAU) and Resilience Scale for Adults (RSA). Students’ practice education performance was measured by the Student Practice Evaluation Form–Revised (SPEF–R). Multi-linear regression analyses with bootstrapping were completed to identify resilience factors that were predictive of occupational therapy students’ practice performance. Results: Overall, occupational therapy students reported high levels of resilience based on the RAU and RSA subscale scores. “Managing Stress,” “Find Your Calling” and “Living Authentically” were strong predictors of a range of key fieldwork performance SPEF–R factors, including “Professional Behaviours,” “Self-management Skills,” “Co-worker Communication” and “Communication Skills.”. Conclusion: The resilience factors identified as being significant predictors of practice education performance outcomes in occupational therapy students represent notable findings. They suggest that students’ capabilities in managing their stress levels, finding meaning in their chosen profession, and engaging self-care daily activities outside of the work environment that are meaningful, authentic and fit with one's personal values and beliefs can act as buffers against the challenges experienced by students who are completing practice education placements. The findings will assist academic and practice educators in identifying and targeting vulnerable students and strengthening resilience strategies through proactive pre-practice placement initiatives. Qualitative studies are recommended to further explore the relationship between resilience and practice education performance in occupational therapy students.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-61
Number of pages13
JournalAustralian Occupational Therapy Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020


  • fieldwork performance
  • occupational therapy education
  • practice education
  • resilience
  • students

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