Date Presented 04/21/2023
TikTok has the potential to be used by OT to share innovations and best practices, build communities of practice, and engage in collaborative efforts to share the value added of the profession across the life span. The purpose of this cross-sectional study is to describe the content of TikTok videos with the hashtag #occupationaltherapy and investigate how OT is being portrayed.
Primary Author and Speaker: Skye Pamela Barbic
Additional Authors and Speakers: Whitney Chasca, Samantha Barbic Nerada
Contributing Authors: Marco Zenone
BACKGROUND: Health care professionals have utilized the social media platform TikTok as a means of educating individuals worldwide through short-form videos. In the last year, #occupationaltherapy and derivations of this term have been accessed billions of times on this platform, however, presently there is no evidence investigating how occupational therapy is perceived.
PURPOSE: To describe the content of TikTok videos with the hashtag #occupationaltherapy and investigate how occupational therapy is being portrayed.
DESIGN: Cross-sectional study.
METHOD: The top 500 videos on TikTok with the hashtag #occupationaltherapy will be analyzed and coded to identify what occupational therapy information is being shared across the platform. Two researchers collectively coded 100 videos and generated categories that encompassed the occupational therapy scope of practice.
RESULTS: The videos in our sample (n=500) were viewed over 175,000,000 times as of May 2022. The full results are currently unknown, however, preliminary content analysis indicates that the population of pediatric occupational therapy and the clinical categories of treatment/intervention and education are most predominate among the videos with the hashtag #occupationaltherapy. Viewers who are unfamiliar with occupational therapy may be unaware that the videos represent the scope of practice, which could contribute to ambiguity and discredit the profession.
CONCLUSION: The study will be complete by December 2022. TikTok has the potential to be used by occupational therapy to share innovations and best practices, build communities of practice, and engage in collaborative efforts to share the value added of our profession across the lifespan.
Zenone, M., Ow, N., & Barbic, S. (2021). TikTok and public health: a proposed research agenda. BMJ Glob Health, 6(11). https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2021-007648
Montag, C., Yang, H., & Elhai, J. D. (2021). On the Psychology of TikTok Use: A First Glimpse From Empirical Findings. Front Public Health, 9, 641673. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpubh.2021.641673