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Expectancy, usage and acceptance by general practitioners and patients: exploratory results from a study in the German outpatient sector

  • Objective: The study’s objective was to assess factors contributing to the use of smart devices by general practitioners (GPs) and patients in the health domain, while specifically addressing the situation in Germany, and to determine whether, and if so, how both groups differ in their perceptions of these technologies. Methods: GPs and patients of resident practices in the Hannover region, Germany, were surveyed between April and June 2014. A total of 412 GPs in this region were invited by email to participate via an electronic survey, with 50 GPs actually doing so (response rate 12.1%). For surveying the patients, eight regional resident practices were visited by study personnel (once each). Every second patient arriving there (inclusion criteria: of age, fluent in German) was asked to take part (paper-based questionnaire). One hundred and seventy patients participated; 15 patients who did not give consent were excluded. Results: The majority of the participating patients (68.2%, 116/170) and GPs (76%, 38/50) owned mobile devices. Of the patients, 49.9% (57/116) already made health-related use of mobile devices; 95% (36/38) of the participating GPs used them in a professional context. For patients, age (P<0.001) and education (P<0.001) were significant factors, but not gender (P>0.99). For doctors, neither age (P¼0.73), professional experience (P>0.99) nor gender (P¼0.19) influenced usage rates. For patients, the primary use case was obtaining health (service)-related information. For GPs, interprofessional communication and retrieving information were in the foreground. There was little app-related interaction between both groups. Conclusions: GPs and patients use smart mobile devices to serve their specific interests. However, the full potentials of mobile technologies for health purposes are not yet being taken advantage of. Doctors as well as other care providers and the patients should work together on exploring and realising the potential benefits of the technology.

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Author:Urs-Vito AlbrechtORCiDGND, Kambiz Afshar, Kristin Illiger, Stefan Becker, Tobias Hartz, Bernhard Breil, Daniel WichelhausORCiDGND, Ute von Jan
DOI original:https://doi.org/10.1177/2055207617695135
Parent Title (English):Digital Health
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2017
Publishing Institution:Hochschule Hannover
Release Date:2020/06/08
Tag:acceptance; digital divide; general practitioners; mHealth; mobile health; tablet
GND Keyword:Smartphone; Smart Device; Allgemeinarzt; Akzeptanz; Patient
First Page:1
Last Page:22
Link to catalogue:1757669329
Institutes:Fakultät IV - Wirtschaft und Informatik
DDC classes:610 Medizin, Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Nicht kommerziell 3.0