Background: Research into diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) has been conducted on several levels. Different delivery techniques have been studied and the importance of DEI content has been explored. These investigations have been conducted without regard to student perceptions. The current study sought to explore this avenue of inquire by examining how students perceive the delivery of DEI content in their curriculum.
Methods: This study utilized survey data collected from over 1,600 Occupational Therapy (OT) students from across the United States. Survey data was initially collected via Qualtrics survey platform. Data was analyzed used SPSS 27 and incorporated descriptive and inferential statistics.
Results: Data indicated a complete lack of diversity, equity, and inclusion content for approximately 20% of participants. Of those who received this content, it was delivered at suboptimal frequencies and quality. Differences were found between student years, with first years received content more frequently than their third year counterparts. State region was also examined, with students from western states reporting lower frequencies and quality compared to most other regions.
Discussion: This study’s results indicate a need for increased DEI content frequency and quality within OT curriculums. This may be done with oversight from the American Occupation Therapy Association, which provides accreditation standards for these programs. Further research is required to fully understand why student perceptions differ by year and region. Additional research is also warranted to assess if students’ reported results match actual delivery frequencies.
Capron, Maclain, "Occupational Therapy Students' Perceptions of the Quality and Frequency of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in their Curriculum" (2023). Master of Public Health Capstone Presentations. Presentation 474.