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Exploring the applicability and utility of the subect-centered integrative learning model in client and family education




Zorn, Amanda Rachelle, author
Hooper, Barb, advisor
Wood, Wendy, committee member
Kuk, Linda, committee member

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Client education is one of the primary intervention methods used by occupational therapists. However, existing models for client education within occupational therapy do not provide information on how practitioners can make the link between teaching interactions and occupation explicit for learners. The educational model proposed in this study, the Subject Centered Integrative Learning model for Occupational Therapy (SCIL-OT), can provide the connection between teaching interactions and client occupation by guiding the provision of information in an explicit and visual manner that represents occupation as the core of teaching. This study used a theory building design and basic qualitative research methods. Occupational therapists providing client education in everyday practice were taught the SCIL-OT and were asked to incorporate the model into client education. During a final interview, client educators reported on their experiences applying the model. All interviews were transcribed and coded based upon elements of the model and experience with the model in practice. Coded data were then analyzed for themes or common threads to provide further understanding of client educators’ experiences with applying the SCIL-OT in practice. After learning about the SCIL-OT, 1) language used by client educators shifted from implicit to explicit descriptions of the core subject of occupation in how teaching was described, and client educators became more intentional in making teaching links to connect the knowledge community and topics to client-centered occupations; 2) there was increased emphasis on building relationships within the knowledge community; and 3) client educators explained meaning was developed within teaching experiences when centering educational interactions on client-centered occupations. Despite these transitions, client educators expressed difficulty understanding the difference between the elements of topic and subject within the model which made it difficult to explain the dynamics of educational encounters in clear language. When reducing these findings down to the common threads, client educators expressed that the SCIL-OT incorporated meaning, stronger client-centered approaches, and increased engagement by clients and family members within teaching experiences. Although a client-centered approach is emphasized within the occupational therapy profession, participants explained the routines of day to day practice can overshadow the intention of connecting with clients and families during teaching interactions. The SCIL-OT acted as a visual aide, illustrating the components within educational experiences, thus reminding client educators to make intentional connections between the knowledge community, topics, and subject.


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