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Year : 2007  |  Volume : 20  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 26

The Changing Motivation of Massage Therapy Students

Sutherland Chan School and Teaching Clinic, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Correspondence Address:
P Finch
330 Dupont Street, Toronto, Ontario M5R 1V9
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 17647188

Purpose: the study was conducted in order to determine whether the level of motivation related to intrinsic (people-oriented) and extrinsic (external reward) value complexes in a class of massage therapy students changed during their professional education. Methods: the research was a quasi-experimental within-subject design, in which survey data was collected from students on their first day in the massage therapy program and again towards the end of their final term. The data were collated and summarized, and the differences in motivation scores were assessed using Fisher's Least Significant Difference procedure. Results: the results support the hypothesis that massage therapy students are motivated more strongly by intrinsic than extrinsic rewards both at the commencement of their studies and as they approach entry to practice. Also evident from the data is the fact that the students' motivation changed during their professional studies. This change involved a significant decrease in the level of intrinsic motivation and significant increase in the level of extrinsic motivation. Thus, although intrinsic motivation reduced while extrinsic motivation increased, the former remained the more powerful influence. Conclusion: professional programs should consider the balance between intrinsic and extrinsic student motivation and attempt to control influences that might shift this such that the humanistic / altruistic mission of health care is undermined.

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