Monday, 21 March 2011

Tutorial 1: Information Technology and Ethical Issues

The focus of this first posting is to define and explain terms including Information Technology, Information Communications Technology, Intellectual property, social justice and informed consent, and to explain the use, problems and benifits of technology in Occupational Therapy.

Information Technology (IT) is the use of computers, telecommunications etc to store, retrieve and send information. Information communications technology is often used to refer to the merging of audio-visual and telephone networks with computer networks through a single cabling or link system. I feel quite comfortable using most systems of IT including cameras, computers, mobile phones etc.

How is IT being used in Occupational Therapy practice? Technology offers occupational therapists new types of handiwork and enabling devices, which are being drawn from a virtual evvironment. accordingly, Occupational therapists need to acknowledge the opportunities afforded by modern developments, and occupational therapy departments should reflect these changes and consider exchanging therapeutic cones for computers and video game consoles (Verdonck et al 2007) IT and ITC is becoming meaningful everyday occupations, for almost everyone including Occupational Therapy clients, therefore they are potential therapy tools. They can be used in many ways such as to improve a clients funtional independence and as a therapeutic tool in many environments.

Some of the ethical implications that may arise from IT devices may include
  • Social Justice which refers to an ideal of society where 'justice' refers to economic status rather than to administration of rules.
  • Informed consent which is a legal condition whereby a person can be said to have given consent based upon an appreciation and understanding of facts.
These may arise in OT practice when capturing images, sharing and transferring information, which all relate to confidentallity.


Information and communications technology. (2011, March). Retrieved March, 2011, from

Verdonck, M. C., & Ryan, S. (2008, June). Mainstream Technology as an Occupational Therapy Tool: Technophobe or Technogeek? British Journal of Occupational Therapy, 71(6), 253-256.

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