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Occupational therapists' skills and attitudes regarding use of computers and assistive technology
journal contributionposted on 28.05.2019, 00:00 by Carolyn UnsworthCarolyn Unsworth, MC Townsend
The purpose of this study was to examine the skills and attitudes of a sample of practicing occupational therapists regarding the use of computers, and to explore their agreement with the Foundation Level Technology Competencies proposed for adoption in the United States of America (American Occupational Therapy Association, 1991; reported in Hammel and Smith, 1993). Out of a sample of 250 subjects, 89 occupational therapists in the USA completed a questionnaire regarding their experiences with, and attitudes towards computers, and their agreement with the proposed Competencies. The results indicated that while the majority of therapists had had some exposure to computers, they wanted to learn more — particularly how a computer could aid management tasks. While 50% or more of the therapists ‘Agreed’ or ‘Strongly Agreed’ with 19 of the 21 Competencies, the level of therapist ‘Indecision’ or ‘Disagreement’ with several of the Competencies suggests that either these Competencies require revision, or that if the Competencies are nationally adopted, many therapists may require intensive continuing education programmes to bring their skills to a competent standard. Adoption of these Competencies has many implications for international standards of occupational therapy practice and levels of computer education.