Educators’ and students’ needs regarding teaching and learning strategies for integrating spirituality and spiritual care in occupational therapy education
Mthembu, Thuli G.
Roman, Nicolette V.
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Spirituality and spiritual care are both generating considerable interest as part of holistic and client-centred approaches of the profession of Occupational Therapy. Concerns have been raised regarding the teaching and learning needs of occupational therapy educators and students regarding spirituality and spiritual care. The aim of this study was to explore educators’ and students’ needs regarding teaching and learning strategies for integrating spirituality and spiritual care in the South African occupational therapy education. An interpretive, qualitative exploratory-descriptive approach was used with nine educators and 29 students who were purposively recruited from a university in the Western Cape Province, South Africa. Four focus group discussions were used for data collection and thematically analysed and managed in Atlas.ti 7. Two themes emerged: “We actually use transformative learning as a pedagogical approach,” and “We need philosophical guidelines for integrating spirituality”. These results imply that the transformative learning theories could contribute significantly to the integration of spirituality and spiritual care in occupational therapy education. Additionally, the findings support the use of critical reflection and consciousness-raising as teaching and learning strategies for spirituality. Overall, the findings indicated that the phases of transformative learning could be used to integrate spiritualty and spiritual care in occupational therapy education. This study suggests a basis for development of guidelines to assist the educators and students to address the need for integrating spirituality in the occupational therapy classroom.