Exploring Intermediate Students' Awareness and Interest in Occupational Therapy as a Career Choice

Main Article Content

Khushboo Jan
Nazish A Qadir
Mariya Ehtisham
Khawla Ilyas Syed
Mukhlis Razzaq
Subhan Ur Rehman Burki


Background: Occupational Therapy (OT) plays a crucial role in the healthcare system, aiding individuals of all ages to regain or maintain their independence and improve their quality of life. Despite its importance, there is a noted gap in awareness and interest among students, particularly in regions like Peshawar, Pakistan, where the understanding of OT's scope and career potential appears limited.

Objective: This study aimed to assess the level of knowledge, awareness, and interest among high school students (pre-medical) in Peshawar regarding Occupational Therapy as a career choice, and to compare these insights with existing perceptions of OT as a field.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 160 high school students preparing for medical entrance examinations in Peshawar, using a validated questionnaire that encompassed demographic details, knowledge, awareness, and interest in OT. The questionnaire was structured into three parts, featuring both open and closed-ended questions. Data analysis was performed using SPSS version 25.0, focusing on descriptive statistics to summarize demographics, knowledge levels, and interest in OT.

Results: The majority of participants (65%) exhibited an average knowledge about OT, with 29.7% having poor knowledge and only 5.3% showing good knowledge. Interest in OT as a career was low, with only 17.5% of the participants expressing a desire to pursue OT in the future. Misconceptions about OT were prevalent, with 65% of respondents mistakenly identifying OT as a branch of psychiatry and a substantial number underestimating the scope of OT practice.

Conclusion: The study revealed a moderate understanding and a generally low interest among pre-medical students in Peshawar towards OT as a career choice. There is a critical need for enhanced educational efforts and awareness campaigns to clarify the role and scope of OT and to foster a greater appreciation for the profession among potential future healthcare professionals.

Article Details

How to Cite
Jan, K., Qadir, N. A., Ehtisham, M., Syed, K. I., Razzaq, M., & Burki, S. U. R. (2024). Exploring Intermediate Students’ Awareness and Interest in Occupational Therapy as a Career Choice. Journal of Health and Rehabilitation Research, 4(1), 377–382. https://doi.org/10.61919/jhrr.v4i1.373
Author Biographies

Khushboo Jan, Khyber Medical University Peshawar Pakistan.

BSOT, Occupational Therapist/ Teaching Assistant, IPM&R

Nazish A Qadir, Khyber Medical University Peshawar Pakistan.

BSc OT, tBSOT, MHPE, Coordinator OT Program, IPM&R

Mariya Ehtisham, Bonsai Rehabilitation Centre Peshawar Pakistan

BSOT, Occupational Therapist /Managing Director

Khawla Ilyas Syed, Khyber Medical University Peshawar Pakistan

BSOT, Occupational Therapist

Mukhlis Razzaq, Paraplegic Center Peshawar Pakistan

BSOT, Incharge Occupational Therapy Department.

Subhan Ur Rehman Burki, Northwest Institute of Health Sciences Peshawar Pakistan.

BSPT, PPDPT, MSPT, CHPE, CHR. Principal and Assistant Professor.


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