Get access

Cultural awareness among Queensland undergraduate occupational therapy students


  • Tanya M. Rasmussen BOccThy(Hons); Occupational Therapist. Chris Lloyd PhD; Senior Lecturer. Trish Wielandt PhD, Senior Lecturer.

Chris Lloyd, Division of Occupational Therapy, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland 4072, Australia. Email:


Aim: Australia's cultural diversity generates substantial challenges and implications for students and health-care professionals. This study investigated the cultural perceptions and self-rated level of cultural competence of undergraduate occupational therapy students in Queensland, Australia.

Results: Two hundred and ninety-three students completed the Cultural Awareness Questionnaire. The findings indicated that the majority of students have a positive attitude towards cultural differences and influences on occupational therapy services. Students also recognised the importance of cultural awareness and highlighted the need for increased incorporation of cultural information and experience throughout the undergraduate course.

Conclusion: The implications of this study are discussed with reference to the future academic planning of culturally sensitive occupational therapy course and fieldwork experiences.