Supporting digital health and digital inclusion: an occupational therapy perspective

Wallcook, Sarah and Morris, Karen (2017) Supporting digital health and digital inclusion: an occupational therapy perspective. Journal of Corporate Citizenship, 2017 (68). pp. 82-94.

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.9774/TandF.4700.2017.de.00008

Abstract

Digital technologies (DTs) are increasingly prevalent in global everyday life and considered as tools to bridge health inequalities relating to the urban-rural divide. Occupational therapists can optimize the fit between people, activities and DTs, though little is known about rural practice. The study aimed to understand rural occupational therapists’ view of DT and identify its perceived impact on practice. Fourteen occupational therapists from six countries were recruited through social media and email. Data were collected through an online questionnaire and either a one-to-one interview or online group discussion. Influenced by grounded theory, the data were analyzed using thematic analysis and constant comparison with current literature. Three themes emerged: DT was identified as pervasive, having a multidimensional impact on modern rural citizenship; DT interacted with the concept of being available, regarded as complementary to face-to-face contact; and therapists engaged in dynamic technological actions and ideas responding to diverse needs. Participants embraced the changing importance of DT in their clients’ daily lives, used personalized approaches and adapted practice to the evolving DT landscape. This study indicates the profession may offer insights for health and social care providers and digital health developers. Collaboration on inclusive provision may reduce health inequalities and meet rural communities’ needs.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Corporate Citizenship
Publisher: Greenleaf Publishing
ISSN: 2051-4700
Departments: Rehabilitation
Depositing User: Karen Morris
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2019 10:32
Last Modified: 27 Mar 2019 16:02
URI: http://insight.cumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/4563

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