Prediction of academic and clinical performance of occupational therapy students in an entry-level master's program

Grace L. Kirchner, University of Puget Sound
Margo B. Holm, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania


Objective. The relationships between clinical outcomes and predictors used to screen applicants for entrance into a Master in Occupational Therapy (MOT) program were examined.

Method. MOT student records from 1986 to 1992 were used to gather data for three dependent variables and six predictor (independent) variables. The dependent variables used to gauge student success were grade point average in occupational therapy courses (OT-GPA), client attendance at an on-site clinic, and therapy outcomes of clients at that clinic. The predictor variables were undergraduate GPA, scores on the three sections of the Graduate Record Examination, reference forms, and essays.

Results. The models used to predict OT-GPA and therapy outcomes were significant (p < .05), and the incremental validity of several predictors was established. The model used to predict client attendance was not significant.

Conclusion. The findings regarding OT-GPA support the continued use of all the predictors except the reference forms. Although it was possible to develop a model to predict client outcomes, the usefulness of the model is difficult to interpret.