Background and Purpose: Both the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) and the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) have organizational entities that promote growing diversity among their members. The American Society of Hand Therapists (ASHT) welcomes therapist cultural diversity by including international participation, but it currently does not have an organization entity to promote ethnic and cultural diversity among its members. The purpose of this preliminary study is to investigate the perceived facets of diversity among hand therapists by completing a qualitative analysis of answers to four open-ended questions.
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Short Description: The APTA and AOTA have departments promoting diversity among members, but ASHT does not. The purpose of this qualitative study was to investigate perceptions of diversity among 14 prospective hand therapists. All found ethnic/cultural diversity and competence important for patients' care. Recommendations to grow a diverse hand therapy workforce were given. Further in-depth needs assessments are needed.
© 2006 Hanley & Belfus. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.