Awareness and Knowledge of Occupational Therapy Among Nigerian Medical and Health Sciences Undergraduates

Olaoye, Olumide Ayoola ; Emechete, Anne A.I. ; Onigbinde, Ayodele Teslim ; Mbada, Chidozie Emmanuel (2016-06)

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Objective/Background: Consequent to the introduction of occupational therapy (OT) training programmes in Nigeria in the past decade, this study sought to assess the awareness and knowledge of Nigerian medical and other health career undergraduates about OT. Methods: Three hundred and eighty-one undergraduates and students of other health disciplines from the College of Health Sciences, Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, Nigeria responded to a validated three section questionnaire assessing their awareness and knowledge about OT. The collected data were analysed using descriptive statistics of mean and percentages and inferential statistics of chi-square test of association. Results: The mean age of the respondents was 20.96 ± 2.88 years. Over 80% of the respondents were aware of the OT profession, with higher rates among male respondents (83.7%), students in the 2nd year of study (94.7%), and those in the medical rehabilitation programme (99.1%). Amongst the respondents, < 40% had good knowledge of OT while a majority had knowledge ranging from poor to moderate (62.7%). Respondents' course of study and level of study were significantly associated with awareness and knowledge about OT. Conclusion: Nigerian medical and health sciences undergraduates had high awareness, but poor to moderate knowledge about the OT profession, roles, and work settings. Level of awareness and knowledge about OT were significantly influenced by the rehabilitation-related course of study and lower level of study. Replication of similar studies in countries with different cultural backgrounds is suggested.