Original Research

The use of information and communication technology by South African physiotherapy students

M. Rowe, P. Struthers
South African Journal of Physiotherapy | Vol 65, No 3 | a91 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajp.v65i3.91 | © 2009 M. Rowe, P. Struthers | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 06 January 2009 | Published: 06 January 2009

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M. Rowe,
P. Struthers,

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The global shift toward the use of information and commu -nication technology (ICT) in health education and practice has been shown toenhance both the educational opportunities and the support provided to studentsand healthcare professionals.  This study aimed to investigate the use of ICTby South A frican physiotherapy students and what their experiences and perceptions were regarding their use of ICT as part of their studies.  The studydesign was a cross-sectional, descriptive survey using a self-administered questionnaire.  The survey populationincluded all of the undergraduate physiotherapy students from six of the eight universities offering the physiotherapydegree in South A frica (N=1105).  The sample size consisted of 529 students from the survey population who completed and returned questionnaires, indicating a response rate of 48%.  The results of the study showed that the useof ICT by South A frican physiotherapy students varied according to task, racial group and university attended.Furthermore, the reported use of ICT for communication, research and continuing professional development was low.In conclusion, this study indicates that with a move toward the use of ICT to enhance health education and practice in South A frica, certain groups of physiotherapy students may be at a disadvantage if required to make use of ICT asa means of improving communication, enhancing education, participating in lifelong learning opportunities andaccessing support.




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doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2012.668634