The association between undergraduate occupational therapy students’ listening and interpersonal skills and performance on practice education placements

Mong Lin Yu, Ted Brown, Laura Thyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Background: Communication skills such as listening, empathy and body language are core competencies that entry level occupational therapy students must demonstrate when completing practice placements. Objective: To investigate if interpersonal skills taught to undergraduate occupational therapy students predict their practice performance. Methods: Second, third and fourth year occupational therapy students (n = 132) completed the Active-Empathetic Listening Scale (AELS); the Listening Styles Profile-Revised (LSP-R); and the Interpersonal Communication Competence Scale (ICCS). The Student Practice Evaluation Form–Revised (SPEF-R) measured students’ performance at the completion of a placement. Regression analysis examined the relationships between students’ interpersonal and listening skills and their fieldwork performance. Results: Higher ICCS Interaction Management subscale scores were significantly associated with better SPEF-R Communication Skills at final evaluation (β = 1.46, p < 0.05). Higher AELS Sensing subscale scores were predictive of greater Self-Management Skill performance on the SPEF-R (β = 0.84, SE = 0.42). Student’s demographic characteristics were also predictive of their SPEF-R scores. The ICCS and LSP-R’s subscale scores were not predictive of SPEF-R scores. Conclusion: This preliminary evidence identified several interpersonal skills that were predictive of some key SPEF-R competencies. To better prepare students to successfully complete practice placements, these interpersonal skills should be incorporated into occupational therapy education curriculum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-282
Number of pages10
JournalScandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • communication
  • listening skills
  • practice education
  • professional competencies
  • Students

Cite this

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title = "The association between undergraduate occupational therapy students’ listening and interpersonal skills and performance on practice education placements",
abstract = "Background: Communication skills such as listening, empathy and body language are core competencies that entry level occupational therapy students must demonstrate when completing practice placements. Objective: To investigate if interpersonal skills taught to undergraduate occupational therapy students predict their practice performance. Methods: Second, third and fourth year occupational therapy students (n = 132) completed the Active-Empathetic Listening Scale (AELS); the Listening Styles Profile-Revised (LSP-R); and the Interpersonal Communication Competence Scale (ICCS). The Student Practice Evaluation Form–Revised (SPEF-R) measured students’ performance at the completion of a placement. Regression analysis examined the relationships between students’ interpersonal and listening skills and their fieldwork performance. Results: Higher ICCS Interaction Management subscale scores were significantly associated with better SPEF-R Communication Skills at final evaluation (β = 1.46, p < 0.05). Higher AELS Sensing subscale scores were predictive of greater Self-Management Skill performance on the SPEF-R (β = 0.84, SE = 0.42). Student’s demographic characteristics were also predictive of their SPEF-R scores. The ICCS and LSP-R’s subscale scores were not predictive of SPEF-R scores. Conclusion: This preliminary evidence identified several interpersonal skills that were predictive of some key SPEF-R competencies. To better prepare students to successfully complete practice placements, these interpersonal skills should be incorporated into occupational therapy education curriculum.",
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AB - Background: Communication skills such as listening, empathy and body language are core competencies that entry level occupational therapy students must demonstrate when completing practice placements. Objective: To investigate if interpersonal skills taught to undergraduate occupational therapy students predict their practice performance. Methods: Second, third and fourth year occupational therapy students (n = 132) completed the Active-Empathetic Listening Scale (AELS); the Listening Styles Profile-Revised (LSP-R); and the Interpersonal Communication Competence Scale (ICCS). The Student Practice Evaluation Form–Revised (SPEF-R) measured students’ performance at the completion of a placement. Regression analysis examined the relationships between students’ interpersonal and listening skills and their fieldwork performance. Results: Higher ICCS Interaction Management subscale scores were significantly associated with better SPEF-R Communication Skills at final evaluation (β = 1.46, p < 0.05). Higher AELS Sensing subscale scores were predictive of greater Self-Management Skill performance on the SPEF-R (β = 0.84, SE = 0.42). Student’s demographic characteristics were also predictive of their SPEF-R scores. The ICCS and LSP-R’s subscale scores were not predictive of SPEF-R scores. Conclusion: This preliminary evidence identified several interpersonal skills that were predictive of some key SPEF-R competencies. To better prepare students to successfully complete practice placements, these interpersonal skills should be incorporated into occupational therapy education curriculum.

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