Author: Wong, Lik Hang
Title: A model assessing the interpersonal competence among occupational therapy students in Hong Kong
Advisors: Siu, Andrew (RS)
Degree: DHSc
Year: 2023
Subject: Health occupations students -- China -- Hong Kong
Communication in medicine
Interpersonal communication
Occupational therapy -- Study and teaching
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Faculty of Health and Social Sciences
Pages: 128 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: Background:
One of the core competencies for occupational therapy students is how well they can communicate and relate to other people. Studies showed the development of interpersonal competence among healthcare professional students could significantly affect their clinical performance. However, studies yielded different, sometimes contradicting results because there was a lack of consensus on the theoretical framework for studying the construct of interpersonal competence. This study formulated a model for studying interpersonal competence adopted by combining concepts from Cavell’s (1990) tri-component model, the International Classification of Functioning, Health and Disability framework (ICF) and the Person­-Environment-Occupational Performance model. This model was used to investigate the interpersonal competence of occupational therapy students in Hong Kong.
This study adopted a cross-sectional observational design. In the proposed model, the Interpersonal Communication Competence Scale (ICCS) and the Professional Self-Identity Questionnaire (PSIQ) scores can be referred to the lowest-level component, Social Skills, and the highest-level component, Social Attainment. After completing the online survey and the two self-rated measures, students participated in a level-two or above clinical placement, and their clinical educator rated their performance with the Student Practice Evaluation Form - Revised edition (SPEF­-R). Four SPEF-R domains, including Co-working Communication, Communication Skills with service users, Information Gathering and Service Provision, were regarded as essential interpersonal tasks in clinical placement context. They were combined as a composite representation of the second-level components, Social Performance, in the proposed model.
Forty occupational therapy students were recruited in this study. Through an online survey, they provided their background information, and completed the ICCS and PSIQ. Pearson correlation analysis and multiple regression analyses were used to examine the relationship between students' background information and their interpersonal competence.
All the components measured by the ICCS score, the SPEF-R domain ratings and the PSIQ scores were significantly correlated. Results of regression analysis among different components supported the hierarchical structure of the purposed model. Students who have been involved in student union committee was found significantly better in all the interpersonal components. Meanwhile, students who had a paid job experience prior to their clinical placement also had significantly better Social Skills and Social Attainment ratings but not in Social Performance.
The hierarchical structure of the proposed model was supported by the empirical findings concerning occupational therapy students’ interpersonal competence. Meanwhile, students' self-perceived interpersonal communication competence could partially predict their performance in all the interpersonal tasks within the clinical placement context. However, the relationship between Social Performance and Social Attainment required further investigation.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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