The relationship between resilience, reflective thinking and professionalism in Australian undergraduate occupational therapy students

Madeline George, Ted Brown, Mong Lin Yu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Professionalism is a key attribute that occupational therapy students must establish throughout their education. Resilience and reflective thinking are two skills that may underpin students’ professionalism. Objective: To investigate whether resilience and reflective thinking are predictive of undergraduate occupational therapy students’ professionalism. Methods: 152 occupational therapy undergraduate students completed the Professionalism Assessment Tool (PAT); the Resilience at University Scale (RAU); and the Reflective Thinking Scale (RTS). Regression analyses with bootstrapping were completed. Results: Regression models revealed that multiple domains of resilience and reflective thinking were predictive of the following professionalism variables: Reliability, Responsibility and Accountability (R2 =0.080, p = 0.002); Lifelong Learning and Adaptability (R2 =0.084, p = 0.01); Relationships with Others (R2 =0.046, p = 0.03); and Citizenship and Professional Engagement (R2 =0.110, p = 0.004). Common independent variables among these models included RTS Reflection, RAU Managing Stress and RAU Finding Your Calling. Conclusions and significance: This preliminary evidence revealed that when working together, factors of resilience and reflective thinking were predictive of occupational therapy student professionalism. Incorporating a greater focus on these skills into the occupational therapy education curriculum may help enhance student professionalism. Further research on resilience and reflective thinking, and the potential links to professionalism, is recommended.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)229-241
Number of pages13
JournalScandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2022


  • occupational therapy education
  • Professionalism
  • reflective thinking
  • resilience
  • students

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