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Awareness, Knowledge, Attitude, and Skills (AKAS) of Telemedicine and Its Use by Primary Healthcare Providers

HumanInsight Awareness, Knowledge, Attitude, and Skills (AKAS) of Telemedicine and Its Use by Primary Healthcare Providers

Int J Gen Med. 2024 Mar 19;17:1047-1058. doi: 10.2147/IJGM.S452641. eCollection 2024.


BACKGROUND: This study aimed to determine the rate of telemedicine (TM) use and the levels of awareness, knowledge, attitude, and skills of TM among primary healthcare (PHC) providers.

METHODS: In a cross-sectional study, 104 PHC providers were subjected to a validated AKAS scale via Survey Monkey. The tool consists of 4 parameters that users can respond to using a 4-point Likert scale to assess their awareness (12 statements), knowledge (11 statements), attitude (11 statements), and skills (13 statements) on TM. Total and percentage mean scores (PMS) were calculated for each parameter. Participants were categorized in each parameter into three categories: low (≤ 49% score), average (50-70% score), and high (≥ 71% score) levels. The association of AKAS levels with personal characteristics and TM use was investigated. The significance was set at p<0.05.

RESULTS: One-half of participants (51%) reported current use of TM, and two-thirds (63.5%) reported a high level of AKAS, with a PMS of 72.9±14.7, 95% CI: 70.1-75.7. There were significant associations between the following: years of experience and levels of knowledge (Χ2LT = 6.77, p= 0.009) and skills (Χ2LT = 4.85, p = 0.028), respectively; and total household income and levels of skills (Χ2LT = 6.91, p= 0.009). The rate of TM use was significantly associated with awareness levels (Χ2LT = 6.14, p = 0.013). Lack of training ranked as the first barrier (45.5%), followed by connection problems and tools' unavailability (35.1% each). The participants recommended providing TM training (41.1%) and stabilization of connection and networking signals (30.1%).

CONCLUSION: Despite their high level of TM awareness, the rate of TM use by PHC providers is less than satisfactory. Establishing standardized TM training and supporting the network signals are recommended. A large-scale study on the impact of TM integration with PHC services is necessary.

PMID:38532847 | PMC:PMC10964027 | DOI:10.2147/IJGM.S452641

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