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




 Michael Rowe (Msc Physiotherapy)
 Department of Physiotherapy
 University of the Western Cape
Global shift towards the use
  of ICT in healthcare and
  education
Social media and networks

            Social networking, consumer-
            related online forum discussion
            and multimedia on demand
            Social networks are their frames
            of reference
The Net Generation
      Unprecedented access to technology
      and are comfortable using it
      Evidence suggests that they may be
      different in how they think,
      communicate and choose to learn
Question and problem
Little evidence could be found on the use of ICT by South
African physiotherapy students
Massification and Internationalisation
How can ICT be used to educate and support this new
generation of future healthcare professionals?
Aim and Objectives
   Aim:
    To investigate the use of ICT by South African physiotherapy students, as a
      means of enhancing their education, as well as the experiences and
      perceptions of these students pertaining to the use of ICT as a means of
      seeking and receiving support.

Objectives:
What ICT resources are available to students;
What ICT is being used for;
Students' experiences and perceptions of ICT;
How students are being supported;
Are they adequately prepared to access support post-graduation;
What differences exist?
Background
Definition: the use of computers and computer software
to manipulate information
WHO, UNICEF have discussed the benefits of ICT in
education and healthcare
“Socially acceptable technology”
Benefits of ICT in education
             Coursework accessible
             anywhere, anytime
             Promotes active engagement
             with content
             Enhances problem-based
             learning
             Improves information
             gathering skills
             Improves communication
             between lecturers and
             students
Resources? What resources?
Some African countries have difficulty providing students
with access to technology. Not all countries have this
problem.
E-learning is not the (only) answer
               E-learning must add value, not
               replace
               Technology does not solve
               problems
ICT in healthcare
Continuing professional development is facilitated
and students and professionals supported clinically
through ICT
Evidence based practice difficult to implement
Geographical isolation means poor support and a
lack of opportunities
An estimated 30% of a doctors time will be
spent using a computer. Are healthcare
students ready for this?
Challenges and gaps
Challenges facing adoption of ICT
Digital divide
Poor infrastructure
High costs involved
Poor ICT literacy
Lack of technical skills


Gaps in the literature
Little evidence was found on the use of ICT by
   South African physiotherapy students
Methodology
Study design: cross-sectional, descriptive survey
Setting: physiotherapy departments of 6 universities
offering the physiotherapy degree
Sample: all undergraduate physiotherapy students
who responded
Instrument design: self-developed questionnaire,
focus groups, pilot study
Data analysis: OpenOffice spreadsheet and SPSS
Ethical clearance obtained
Procedure
Identify universities
Send advance letters
Deliver survey
Surveys completed
Surveys returned
Results
                                    Demographic data
                                                 18%
48%
                        52%


                                                        Female
                                                        Male

            Yes
            No

                                    82%                Population: 1105
                                                       Sample: 529
      22%

                                                       Response rate 48%
                              42%
                                      Black
                                      Coloured
                                                       Age: 18 - 22 (87%)
                                      Indian
                                      White            Female: 82%
 24%
                                                       White: 41%
                  12%
Results
                                Response rate by university
140
                                     25%                   Western Cape: 12%
120
                                                           Stellenbosch: 9%
                              19%

                                                           Other: +/- 7%
100


                                            15%
80
      14%   14%
                       13%                                 Total: 48%
60



40



20



 0
                       Respondants




        Cape Town        Kwazulu-Natal     Limpopo
        Stellenbosch     Western Cape      Witwatersrand
Results
                            Frequency of use by university

80

     70%
70
                    65%

60

                                     51%                         60%
50

                                           40%                                         45%                          49%         Daily
40                                                                                                                              Weekly
                          34%                                                                                                   Monthly
           30%
30                                                                                                                              Rarely
                                                                                 24%                          27%
                                                           25%
20                                                                                           19%
                                                                                                                          17%
                                                                                                   12%
10                                               6%                         9%                           7%
                                                                       6%
                                                      3%
                                1%
 0
     Stellenbosch    Cape Town         Limpopo             Kwazulu-Natal         Western Cape            Witwatersrand




Almost 40% use ICT daily, 35% use it weekly
Results
                      Reasons for Internet use at university

                                                           Assignments: 83%
90
     42%
                                                           Academic development: 43%
80


70
                                                           Personal interest: 48%
60


50            24%
                                            Assignment
                                            Personal in-
                                                           Guidance: 23%
                          22%               terest
40                                          Professional
                                            development
30                                          Seeking
                                      12%   advice
20


10


 0
           Reasons for Internet use
Results
                            Students confidence when using ICT
       Online search


               Email


             Printing


    Word processing


       Presentations                                                             Not confident
                                                                                 Uncertain
                                                                                 Confident
           Research


             Games


             Forums


Exercise prescription

                        0     10   20   30   40   50   60   70   80   90   100
Results
                                  Use of the Internet at university
                                                                                    Search: 83%
    Search                                                                83
                                                                                    Databases / journals: +/- 50%
   Libraries                                               63
                                                                                    Email: 48% (26% for support)
  Websites                                                 61
                                                                                    Departmental website: 41%
 Databases                                       53


   Journals                                 48


      Email                                 48


Departments                            41

               0   10   20   30   40        50        60        70   80        90
Experiences and perceptions of ICT
Students who had access to ICT at home (53%) and at high
school (48%) were more likely to have used ICT at university
Most students were satisfied with current levels of support ( >
80%)
Most respondents agreed that ICT has a positive role to play
in supporting students ( > 70%)

78% agree that a strong
support system would positively
influence their decision to work
in a community post
Students more likely to seek support from those most suited
to provide it
Methods: face-to-face (95%), email (25%)
What does this all mean?


Students view ICT as a means of accessing information,
rather than enhancing communication
ICT consistently shown to enhance communication, yet
students fail to use it for this purpose
Many physiotherapy students have had limited or no
access to ICT resources prior to attending university
Reduced levels of confidence using ICT for research
What have we learnt?

ICT has been shown to be a feasible means of
supporting physiotherapy students
Students have the skills to use ICT to seek support and
to enhance their studies, but do not apply them
Inequality in access to technology is still present in South
Africa
The use of ICT in communication, research and CPD
(lifelong learning), was low
How should we proceed?
Physiotherapy departments should consider developing
and implementing a comprehensive ICT strategy
Use ICT to facilitate communication between students
and lecturers
Encourage the use of ICT to encourage undergraduate
research and evidence based practice
What are we doing about it?




OpenPhysio - free, open content physiotherapy resource
Thank you


            Contact

            mrowe@uwc.ac.za
            http://www.mrowe.co.za/blog

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The use of ICT by South African physiotherapy students

  • 1. The use of information and communication technology by South African physiotherapy students Michael Rowe (Msc Physiotherapy) Department of Physiotherapy University of the Western Cape
  • 2. Global shift towards the use of ICT in healthcare and education
  • 3. Social media and networks Social networking, consumer- related online forum discussion and multimedia on demand Social networks are their frames of reference
  • 4. The Net Generation Unprecedented access to technology and are comfortable using it Evidence suggests that they may be different in how they think, communicate and choose to learn
  • 5. Question and problem Little evidence could be found on the use of ICT by South African physiotherapy students Massification and Internationalisation How can ICT be used to educate and support this new generation of future healthcare professionals?
  • 6. Aim and Objectives Aim: To investigate the use of ICT by South African physiotherapy students, as a means of enhancing their education, as well as the experiences and perceptions of these students pertaining to the use of ICT as a means of seeking and receiving support. Objectives: What ICT resources are available to students; What ICT is being used for; Students' experiences and perceptions of ICT; How students are being supported; Are they adequately prepared to access support post-graduation; What differences exist?
  • 7. Background Definition: the use of computers and computer software to manipulate information WHO, UNICEF have discussed the benefits of ICT in education and healthcare “Socially acceptable technology”
  • 8. Benefits of ICT in education Coursework accessible anywhere, anytime Promotes active engagement with content Enhances problem-based learning Improves information gathering skills Improves communication between lecturers and students
  • 9. Resources? What resources? Some African countries have difficulty providing students with access to technology. Not all countries have this problem.
  • 10. E-learning is not the (only) answer E-learning must add value, not replace Technology does not solve problems
  • 11. ICT in healthcare Continuing professional development is facilitated and students and professionals supported clinically through ICT Evidence based practice difficult to implement Geographical isolation means poor support and a lack of opportunities An estimated 30% of a doctors time will be spent using a computer. Are healthcare students ready for this?
  • 12. Challenges and gaps Challenges facing adoption of ICT Digital divide Poor infrastructure High costs involved Poor ICT literacy Lack of technical skills Gaps in the literature Little evidence was found on the use of ICT by South African physiotherapy students
  • 13. Methodology Study design: cross-sectional, descriptive survey Setting: physiotherapy departments of 6 universities offering the physiotherapy degree Sample: all undergraduate physiotherapy students who responded Instrument design: self-developed questionnaire, focus groups, pilot study Data analysis: OpenOffice spreadsheet and SPSS Ethical clearance obtained
  • 14. Procedure Identify universities Send advance letters Deliver survey Surveys completed Surveys returned
  • 15. Results Demographic data 18% 48% 52% Female Male Yes No 82% Population: 1105 Sample: 529 22% Response rate 48% 42% Black Coloured Age: 18 - 22 (87%) Indian White Female: 82% 24% White: 41% 12%
  • 16. Results Response rate by university 140 25% Western Cape: 12% 120 Stellenbosch: 9% 19% Other: +/- 7% 100 15% 80 14% 14% 13% Total: 48% 60 40 20 0 Respondants Cape Town Kwazulu-Natal Limpopo Stellenbosch Western Cape Witwatersrand
  • 17. Results Frequency of use by university 80 70% 70 65% 60 51% 60% 50 40% 45% 49% Daily 40 Weekly 34% Monthly 30% 30 Rarely 24% 27% 25% 20 19% 17% 12% 10 6% 9% 7% 6% 3% 1% 0 Stellenbosch Cape Town Limpopo Kwazulu-Natal Western Cape Witwatersrand Almost 40% use ICT daily, 35% use it weekly
  • 18. Results Reasons for Internet use at university Assignments: 83% 90 42% Academic development: 43% 80 70 Personal interest: 48% 60 50 24% Assignment Personal in- Guidance: 23% 22% terest 40 Professional development 30 Seeking 12% advice 20 10 0 Reasons for Internet use
  • 19. Results Students confidence when using ICT Online search Email Printing Word processing Presentations Not confident Uncertain Confident Research Games Forums Exercise prescription 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100
  • 20. Results Use of the Internet at university Search: 83% Search 83 Databases / journals: +/- 50% Libraries 63 Email: 48% (26% for support) Websites 61 Departmental website: 41% Databases 53 Journals 48 Email 48 Departments 41 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90
  • 21. Experiences and perceptions of ICT Students who had access to ICT at home (53%) and at high school (48%) were more likely to have used ICT at university Most students were satisfied with current levels of support ( > 80%) Most respondents agreed that ICT has a positive role to play in supporting students ( > 70%) 78% agree that a strong support system would positively influence their decision to work in a community post
  • 22. Students more likely to seek support from those most suited to provide it Methods: face-to-face (95%), email (25%)
  • 23. What does this all mean? Students view ICT as a means of accessing information, rather than enhancing communication ICT consistently shown to enhance communication, yet students fail to use it for this purpose Many physiotherapy students have had limited or no access to ICT resources prior to attending university Reduced levels of confidence using ICT for research
  • 24. What have we learnt? ICT has been shown to be a feasible means of supporting physiotherapy students Students have the skills to use ICT to seek support and to enhance their studies, but do not apply them Inequality in access to technology is still present in South Africa The use of ICT in communication, research and CPD (lifelong learning), was low
  • 25. How should we proceed? Physiotherapy departments should consider developing and implementing a comprehensive ICT strategy Use ICT to facilitate communication between students and lecturers Encourage the use of ICT to encourage undergraduate research and evidence based practice
  • 26. What are we doing about it? OpenPhysio - free, open content physiotherapy resource
  • 27. Thank you Contact mrowe@uwc.ac.za http://www.mrowe.co.za/blog