What place for ethics? An overview of ethics teaching in occupational therapy and physiotherapy programs in Canada
Series/Report no.Disability and Rehabilitation;Vol. 36 no 9
Purpose: The recent introduction of master’s level curricula for Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy training programs in Canada raises both challenges and opportunities to address ethical issues during professional training. This study evaluated the inclusion of ethics content in course descriptions and course calendars in order to develop a preliminary understanding of how rehabilitation ethics is taught in Canadian universities. Method: We reviewed the ethics content in the online curricula of 27 Canadian rehabilitation programs (OT & PT). Courses addressing ethical issues were identified through keyword searches, and were then subjected to both quantitative and textual descriptive analyses. Results: The mean proportion of credits allotted to courses that included ethics terminology was 5.9% (SD=1.4) for OT and 6.5% (SD=4.8) for PT (p=0.69). The most common terms in the course descriptions were ‘ethics/ethical’ followed by ‘legal’, ‘professionalism’, ‘deontology’ and ‘regulatory’. Textual analysis revealed eight course topics, the most frequent being: standards of practice, ethical decision-making, clinical courses and mediation/communication. Conclusion: With the growing recognition and status of occupational therapy and physiotherapy in the healthcare system, and corresponding shifts in how professionals are being trained, it is crucial to assess and reflect upon the place accorded to and manner of teaching ethics.
Hudon, A., Laliberté, M., Hunt, M., Sonier, V., Williams-Jones, B., Mazer, B., Badro, V., Ehrmann Feldman, D. (2013). What place for ethics? An overview of ethics teaching in occupational therapy and physiotherapy programs in Canada. Disability & Rehabilitation, 36(9), 775-780.