Survey of occupational therapy practitioners in southwestern schools: assessments used and preparation of students for school-based practice.
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The purpose of this study was to identify current practice in assessment use of school-based occupational therapy practitioners and to identify their expectations of student performance in assessment upon completion of the pediatric Fieldwork II experience. A survey of school-based occupational therapists in the southwestern states was conducted to answer three research questions: (1) what standardized assessments are currently used frequently and occasionally by occupational therapy practitioners in the school setting, (2) what level of competency in assessment administration by Fieldwork II students is expected by supervising occupational therapists, and (3) what educational preparation did the practitioners receive prior to their employment in schools and what professional support is currently available to them?A five page questionnaire was mailed to 406 practicing therapists in four southwestern states with a response rate of 74.1 percent using Dillman's Total Design Method.Respondents reported use of motor and visual perception tests most frequently in their practice. When trends of this survey were compared to previous surveys, practitioners reported similar use of motor and visual perception tests, a decreased use of sensory integration measures, and an increase in the use of function-based assessments.