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ERIC Number: EJ1160746
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Dec
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1053-8259
Equine-Assisted Experiential Learning in Occupational Therapy Education
Murphy, Lynne; Wilson, Jacqueline; Greenberg, Stacey
Journal of Experiential Education, v40 n4 p366-376 Dec 2017
Equine-assisted occupational therapy (EAOT) employs horse and human cooperation in activities that facilitate social, emotional, and cognitive development. The potential benefits of equine-assisted activities for students may influence the development of these types of skills in professional occupational therapy practice. This study explored the experience of students who participated in EAOT, related to problem-solving skills, analysis of activities, tolerance for ambiguity, effective communication, and reflection skills. Sixty occupational therapy students participated in EAOT, and completed a pretest and posttest survey regarding the experience. Changes in students' perceptions of comfort with ambiguity, problem solving, reflection, and activity analysis skills were examined. Student responses to broad questions allowed for thematic review of the benefits and challenges of this form of experiential learning. Students were initially fearful of experiential learning; however, a statistically significant improvement in tolerance to ambiguity was identified following the session. In addition, students perceived improved problem-solving skills, ability to analyze activities, and more effective communication skills. Clear benefits were identified in the equine-assisted experience for occupational therapy students. Additional study is warranted to allow for objective measures of tolerance for ambiguity and to explore additional learning outcomes related to readiness for clinical practice.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A