Exploring Students' Use of Feedback During Occupational Therapy Level II Fieldwork Experiences

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Researchers confirmed that the use of feedback assists with the improvement of students’ confidence and performance. Multiple studies focus on the provision and acceptance of feedback; however, it was not known if, or how, students internalized the feedback to apply it successfully. Since there is a difference between providing feedback and the interpretation of its true message, this phenomenon was studied to add empirical knowledge regarding students’ feedback interpretation. This qualitative study explores the perceptions of how students interpret information received from Level II fieldwork educators and what meanings students attributed to the feedback. The use of phenomenological methodology guided the collection of information-rich data through reflective statements and semi-structured interviews. Twenty-three occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant graduates volunteered to participate in the interviews. Verbatim transcripts were coded to identify themes and patterns. Participants identified indicators verifying the correct application of feedback, as well as situations affecting the interpretation and application of feedback provided during an experiential learning opportunity. The findings facilitate guidance for educators and students to understand factors that could affect feedback application.