Using a social media website allowed us to sample attitudes of the public in a convenient format. In this way we offered privacy and flexibility to respondents. This study was a sixteen question media survey presented on Facebook. I thought using Facebook to help collect data from the public was an excellent idea. However, one major limitation of this approach is that it may limit the authenticity of participants’ results. If I had to answer similar questions, I may not answer honestly if I wasn’t sure they were confidential. Many of the respondents, thankfully, were honest and the results were interesting. One advantage this approach had is the convenience it afforded to respondents; a link to the survey was available to all Facebook members and was available for one week, allowing participants to complete the questionnaire at their own pace.
When we compared the interview results of the first year OT students to data collected from the Facebook community, the results are alarmingly similar. Very few people knew exactly what an occupational therapist did, the majority had one accurate description, and some had no idea. These results made me re-think how I can explain what an occupational therapist’s role within healthcare really is. I think it is important as students to continue to encourage researchers and occupational therapist to educate others about the services our profession can provide. The area I grew most in was when I learned to actually code data through writing this paper. I never knew the amount of energy it takes to code all this information and wondered if there is an easier way to categorize information more quickly. Fortunately, our study didn’t represent more than 100 individuals.