Ethics of Technology Practice: Beliefs and Behaviors of Certified Rehabilitation Counselors During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Michael T. Hartley, Paul Bourgeois, Brian J. Clarke

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic represented a critical moment for technology use within rehabilitation counseling. This study explored trends in the beliefs and behaviors of certified rehabilitation counselors (CRCs) regarding the ethical use of technology before and during the pandemic. Specifically, this study compared two groups of CRCs regarding the degree to which they engaged in 59 technology behaviors and whether they viewed each behavior to be ethical. Overall, group comparisons suggested an increased use of telephone, videoconferencing, and email to deliver counseling, assessment, and supervision services during the pandemic. Furthermore, supervision via videoconferencing and email in the pandemic were rated as more ethically appropriate than before the pandemic. As a general trend, synchronous modes of communication such as the telephone and video conferencing were rated as more ethically appropriate than asynchronous modes such as social networking and text messaging. Indicating a high degree of congruence between beliefs and behaviors, the technology practices viewed as most ethical were used the most often. Implications address the revisions to the Code of Professional Ethics for Rehabilitation Counselors regarding the ethical use of technology in rehabilitation counseling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-256
Number of pages13
JournalRehabilitation Counseling Bulletin
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2023


  • coronavirus
  • ethical guidelines
  • rehabilitation counseling
  • technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rehabilitation
  • Applied Psychology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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