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Patients' Intentions to Use Telemedicine for Ophthalmic Medical Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic


Patients' Intentions to Use Telemedicine for Ophthalmic Medical Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Cureus. 2024 Feb 22;16(2):e54709. doi: 10.7759/cureus.54709. eCollection 2024 Feb.


Background This study aimed to examine the factors predicting participants' intention to use telemedicine during the COVID-19 pandemic. Interest in health information technologies (HITs) has increased due to COVID-19. Most studies have focused on the acceptance of HIT by physicians and nurses, while there is a lack of studies on patients' perception and acceptance of such systems in ophthalmology. Methodology In the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, a survey comprising 19 items was conducted at an ophthalmic center in Greece. The participants included 77 patients diagnosed with various eye diseases. The survey aimed to evaluate variables related to the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), such as perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, facilitating conditions, and intention to use telemedicine. The statistical analyses included intercorrelations, internal consistency reliability tests, and multiple linear regression analysis to examine the predictors of intention to use telemedicine. Results The multiple linear regression analysis revealed that perceived usefulness and facilitating conditions emerged as significant predictors of eye patients' intentions to use HIT. Interestingly, while perceived ease of use did not exhibit a significant predictive relationship with use intentions, the influence of perceived usefulness and facilitating conditions within the healthcare context underscores the pivotal role of perceived utility and external support in shaping patients' willingness to engage with HIT for eye care. Conclusions Empirical data on patient acceptance offer a better understanding of the limiting factors and the variables that facilitate intentions to use services that may improve medical diagnoses, patient communication, and treatment adherence processes. Related interventions and communication efforts should highlight the benefits of HIT in ophthalmology and provide the appropriate support and means to facilitate its use during and after the pandemic.

PMID:38524077 | PMC:PMC10960638 | DOI:10.7759/cureus.54709

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