Factors affecting health care workers' acceptance and use of Telehealth in hospitals in Kwazulu-Natal
Prinsloo, Celeste Jo-Ann
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Background and rationale: Telehealth is a collection of methods for enhancing health care, public health, and health education delivery and support using telecommunications technologies. Despite the many reported benefits of telehealth, there are challenges to its continued and widespread use in South Africa. It remains unclear what facilitates or hinders the integration of telehealth into routine clinical practice. Study aim and objectives: Drawing on the Unified Theory of Acceptance and Use of Technology (UTAUT), this study investigated factors affecting healthcare workers' acceptance and use of telehealth in hospitals in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). Specifically, it described the frequency and nature of telehealth use and the factors associated with technology acceptance; and evaluated the influence of socio-demographic factors (age, experience, profession, qualification) and acceptance factors on use and behavioural intention to use telehealth. Methods: A quantitative survey in seven hospitals (2 tertiary, 3 regional, 2 district) with telehealth facilities falling under the KZN Department of Health, was conducted. 177 medical, nursing, pharmacy and allied staff consented to complete an on-line, closed ended and structured self-administered questionnaire based on the UTAUT model. The responses to the individual likert scale items were assigned a score (1-4), and from this, total scores calculated for each construct. Respondent characteristics were converted into binary variables and associations with total scores on each of the UTAUT acceptance domains were tested using t-test. The associations between behavioural intention and actual use (as binary dependent variables); and the respondent profiles, scores for performance expectancy, effort expectancy, social influence, and facilitating conditions (independent variables) were assessed in two multivariate logistic regression models.