OBJECTIVE. The purpose of this study was to examine occupational therapists’ use and perceptions of written education materials for clients and the factors that therapists consider before distributing written materials to clients. This study also aimed to determine whether use and perceptions of these materials differed for older clients.
METHOD. A random sample of 50 occupational therapists from Queensland, Australia, working in adult physical disabilities settings was surveyed with a structured questionnaire. Data were analyzed descriptively and with nonparametric statistics.
RESULTS. Of 49 participants who used written materials, 54% had given them to more than half of their last 10 clients, regardless of the clients’ age. Written materials, most often information sheets developed by the participants themselves; handwritten notes; and pamphlets were principally used to reinforce verbal information. Clients’ cognitive abilities, primary language, communication skills, vision, and level of education most often were considered before distributing written materials. Although participants generally were positive about the content and effectiveness of materials, ratings were significantly less positive related to older clients.
CONCLUSION. Client education was a core treatment modality for participants in this study, with written media most commonly being used to supplement verbal education. Because participants were least positive about the effectiveness of written materials for older clients, further development of materials for this audience may be indicated.