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The purpose of this study was to examine perceived stress of entry‐level master's occupational therapy (OT) students enrolled at a Texas university. A total of 29 students including nine men and 20 women participated in the study. Questionnaires and interviews were used for data collection. The participants were interviewed during the end of the first and second year of the entry‐level master's programme in OT. Questionnaires, given at the same time, contained demographic data, open‐end questions and force choice questions rated on a Likert scale. The results indicated that the majority of students (66.4%) rated their current level of stress as above average or the highest in their lives. The students expressed feelings of being overwhelmed, confused regarding course expectations and wanted more hands‐on experience. When responding to how they managed stress, more than half of the students in the study took an active approach by utilizing exercise. Limitations of the study include using a non‐standardized questionnaire, a small number of participants, and that the participants did not represent diversity and were for the most part Hispanic. It is recommended that future research address the cultural and generational issues that may affect perceptions of stress and how students cope with stress.


© 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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Occupational Therapy International