Date of Award

2020

Document Type

Scholarly Project

Degree Name

Master of Occupational Therapy (MOT)

Department

Occupational Therapy

First Advisor

Breann Lamborn

Abstract

The unique profession of occupational therapy (OT) values cultural aspects when working with clients, therefore it is crucial for practitioners to be aware of various cultural backgrounds to provide greater culturally sensitive and client-centered services. The objective of this scholarly project was to create an educational opportunity for occupational therapists (OTs) who work in communities with a notable population of American Indian/Alaska Natives (AI/AN) through the use of an e-learning module designed to increase culturally competent care. Currently, there is limited literature suggesting the existence of such educational materials regarding this population, including online learning modules. This project was the result of an in-depth literature review of existing evidence-based publications which indicated a gap in training of this nature. The product created for this project, an e-learning educational module, was designed to be implemented during orientation training or to augment annual continuing education competencies for OTs working with AI/AN populations. This product aims to optimize healthcare through improvement of cultural relations in healthcare settings in order to change organizational attitudes, institutional culture, and OT practitioner interactions with AI/AN clients. Though the proposed education module is evidence-based, additional research is needed to more fully support AI/AN clients through culturally sensitive healthcare practices. Furthermore, education modules should be tailored to reflect the tribal cultures of the regions they are implemented in. It is likely that by incorporating this education module into health systems, rapport and trust among OT practitioners and AI/AN clients will improve in a time-efficient and cost-effective manner.

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