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Occupational Therapy graduates of 2009; knowledge and attitudes relating to their role in the area of alcohol misuse

Gill, Jan S; MacLean, Fiona; Renton, Linda; O'May, Fiona


Jan S Gill

Fiona MacLean

Linda Renton

Fiona O'May


Purpose: Within Scotland, health policy changes are being considered to address the misuse of alcohol. Concurrently, a shifting of professional roles within the National Health Service is under way. The purpose of the study was to investigate personal knowledge and attitudes relating to alcohol use/misuse amongst all final year Scottish occupational therapy students.

Procedure: A self-completed questionnaire was developed for delivery in spring 2009 within scheduled lectures to students (n = 161) at all three Scottish universities providing occupational therapy education.

Findings: Of those in class, 93% (n = 109) provided completed questionnaires. There was evidence of gaps in knowledge around the understanding and application of United Kingdom responsible drinking guidelines; however, students reported confidence in their professional and personal ability to act effectively in this area of clinical practice. There was a distinct lack of congruence with key proposals put forward by the Scottish Government to address alcohol misuse.

Conclusion: Identified knowledge gaps have implications for the alcohol teaching content of the curriculum in Scotland. Additionally, while investigation of student attitudes revealed a self-belief in personal and professional skills, the findings nevertheless stress a need to ensure that the potential value of occupational therapists’ contribution is more effectively communicated to their health professional colleagues.


Gill, J. S., MacLean, F., Renton, L., & O'May, F. (2011). Occupational Therapy graduates of 2009; knowledge and attitudes relating to their role in the area of alcohol misuse. British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 74, 168-175.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date 2011-04
Deposit Date Feb 18, 2015
Print ISSN 0308-0226
Electronic ISSN 1477-6006
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 74
Pages 168-175
Keywords Students; alcohol; professional role; knowledge; attitudes; further education; higher education;
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