Making connections and promoting the profession: social media use by World Federation of Occupational Therapy member organisations
Hamilton, Anita L.
Burwash, Susan C.
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Citation (published version)K Jacobs. 2016. "Making connections and promoting the profession: Social media use by World Federation of Occupational Therapy member organisations." Digital Health, Volume 2, pp. 1 - 15.
BACKGROUND: World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT) member organisations comprise 77 national occupational therapy organisations across the world. Each national organisation interacts with its members and the public using diverse methods. Increasingly, national organisations are broadening their communication methods. OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to examine if and how occupational therapy organisations are using social media for communication, and if so, the types of concerns or barriers they experience and what role they anticipate social media might play in the near future. METHODS: An online survey was developed; 57 of 77 WFOT member organisations responded. FINDINGS: This study identified that WFOT national organisations are using social media, to varying degrees, with or without an individual formally assigned to manage social media. Respondents reported that they used social media to: communicate with members, promote the organisation and promote the profession. Commonly expressed needs included assistance with guide- lines for ethical social media use, developing technical expertise, and recognition of limits of time and competing priorities. Recommendations arising from this research are at the global, national, local and individual levels and incorporate active dissemination and pure diffusion approaches. Taking steps to increase the use of social media could indirectly impact occu- pational therapy practice through enhancing organisations’ abilities to support practitioners to enhance their practice. LIMITATIONS AND RECOMENDATIONS FOR FURTHER RESEARCH: Although 57% of WFOT member organisations returned usable responses, there may be some additional perspectives that were not captured. It would be helpful to contact non-responding organisations to explore their social media use and plans. Further research could examine how future initiatives put in place by WFOT impact social media use by member organisations.
RightsAttribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International