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Research Article  |   March 1996
Perceptions of Computer Literacy Among Occupational Therapy Students
Author Affiliations
  • Adelle M. Williams, PhD, is Associate Professor and Director, Health Services Administration, Department of Allied Health, Slippery Rock University, Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania 16057
  • Augustine O. Agho, PhD, is Associate Professor and Director, Division of Health Care Management, School of Allied Health Sciences, Florida A&M University, Tallahassee, Florida
  • Margo B. Holm, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, is Professor, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, Washington, and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Article Information
Education of OTs and OTAs / Education
Research Article   |   March 1996
Perceptions of Computer Literacy Among Occupational Therapy Students
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March 1996, Vol. 50, 217-222. doi:10.5014/ajot.50.3.217
American Journal of Occupational Therapy, March 1996, Vol. 50, 217-222. doi:10.5014/ajot.50.3.217
Abstract

Objective. Educational programs for the occupational therapist and the occupational therapy assistant are mandated to include content on technologies in their curricula. Given the increasing use of technology skills among occupational therapists, especially computer technology skills, it seemed judicious to ascertain the current and desired levels of skill of occupational therapy students as well as their opinions about computer technology.

Method. Program directors from five baccalaureate-level curricula distributed the Computer Opinion Survey and the Computer Knowledge Survey to 109 junior and senior occupational therapy students. The students were instructed to complete and return questionnaires to their program directors who, in turn, forwarded the questionnaires to the principal investigators.

Results. Respondents were generally positive about computer technology, and the level of knowledge they desired about computer technology applications in occupational therapy was much greater than their current level of knowledge. Although respondents’ positive attitudes were significantly correlated with their current levels of computer knowledge, no significant relationship was established among positive attitudes, current levels of computer knowledge, and number of computer courses completed before entering an occupational therapy curriculum.

Conclusions. Even though the respondents were computer literate (i.e., they had a general working knowledge of the uses, limitations, and impact of computers), no relationship was established between their previous computer course work and their current knowledge of the use of computer technology in occupational therapy. The linkage between generic computer literacy and knowledge of its relationship to the use of computer technology in occupational therapy was not evident to this sample of junior and senior students.