Exploring Well-Being: Resilience, Stress, and Self-Care in Occupational Therapy Practitioners and Students

OTJR (Thorofare N J). 2023 Apr;43(2):159-169. doi: 10.1177/15394492221091271. Epub 2022 Apr 28.


Burnout is increasingly documented in occupational therapy (OT); however, practitioner and student well-being have not been examined to date. The research aim was to explore the relationship between well-being, resilience, stress, and self-care in OT. For this purpose, a cross-sectional survey of practitioners and students was done, including a background survey, World Health Organization-5 Well-Being Index (WHO-5), Brief Resilience Scale (BRS), Perceived Stress Scale (PSS), and Mindful Self-Care Scale (MSCS). Open-ended questions and Visual Analog Scales were used to gather satisfaction and service access. Practitioners (n = 235) and students (n = 200) reported well-being "less than half of the time" on the WHO-5, "moderate" stress on the PSS, and "normal" resilience on the BRS. The BRS, PSS, and MSCS explained a significant proportion of variance on the WHO-5 for practitioners and students. Most participants used at least one self-care strategy and desired additional organizational services. The findings of elevated stress and decreased well-being underscore the importance of reimagining wellness initiatives in OT.

Keywords: mental health; occupational therapy; well-being; wellness; work.

MeSH terms

  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Humans
  • Occupational Therapy*
  • Resilience, Psychological*
  • Self Care
  • Students