Introduction: Advances in technology have transformed how people communicate, interact, and engage in occupations. Technology developments have resulted in a new type of literacy. Digital literacy is the ability to use digital technologies for tasks associated with information literacy, evidence based practice, technology applications, and knowledge transfer. With advances in technology development and use within occupational therapy, important questions need to be answered; What areas of practice use technology, and what areas can be enhanced by technology? What levels of digital literacy optimise technology use? What digital literacy levels presently exist among occupational therapists? Objectives: To examine existing literature to highlight the importance of technology use within occupational therapy and explore the link with digital literacy. Method: Searches of electronic databases including SCOPUS, CINHAL, and EBSCO used key search terms to identify occupational therapy and allied health articles published between 1987–2014. Results: Three broad technology use themes were identiﬁed. Firstly, professional healthcare education and practice supports. Secondly, technology for therapies, health education and provision for clients, and thirdly technology use within evidence based practice. Occupational therapists’ digital literacy levels have not been reported. However, previous research on technology use indicates that therapists’ possess low levels of conﬁdence when utilise technologies, this may be linked to low digital literacy levels. Conclusion: Occupational therapy has embraced technology use in many practice settings. Further research is required to assess digital literacy practice requirements to ensure therapists can competently use existing and emerging technologies.
26th Occupational Therapy Australia (OTA) National Conference and Exhibition: Changes, Challenges, Choices, Melbourne, Australia 1-3 July 2015
Australian Occupational Therapy Journal / Vol. 62, Supplement 1, pp.78