Professional Identity the key to professional survival? Designing a tool to measure the development of professional identity

Authors: Truman, J., Shiel, A., Collier, L., Orban, K., Fox, J., Hynes, S., Mcginley, S., Hills, C. and Ekstam, L.

Conference: Royal College of Occupational Therapists 2018

Dates: 11-13 June 2018


Occupational therapy students need to develop professional identity to become resilient practitioners (Boehm et al 2015, Adams et al 2006, Davis 2006). Development of professional identity is facilitated by activities within curricula e. G. Practice placements, peer group work. In an Erasmus project, the University of Southampton, NUI Galway and Lund University, are collaborating through intercultural activities to offer activities to develop and deepen students’ professional identity.

Professional identity development is multifaceted and dynamic (Adams et al 2006). Most studies rely on self-reported measures of change in professional identity with little reporting of the psychometric properties of the tools utilised. The aim of this study is to develop a robust tool to measure changes in professional identity. We examined existing data collection tools (Ashby et al 2016; Boehm et al 2015), and developed an on-line questionnaire to gather information on students’ perception of professional identity pre and post international activities.

The results of the pilot study will be reported. Test retest reliability of overall scores and subcategory scores will be established by testing for differences using Wilcoxon tests. Agreement for individual questions will be evaluated using Kappa. Factor analysis using principal components analysis will be used to cluster related questions. Internal consistency of the instrument will be evaluated using Cronbach’s alpha.

The development of a professional identity tool with robust psychometric properties is of importance to healthcare education providers who are seeking to develop and evaluate activities within their curricula that enhance the professional identity of occupational therapy students.

Source: Manual

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