Determinants of the Intention of Senegal's Physicians to Use Telemedicine in Their Professional Activities
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BACKGROUND: In Senegal, physicians are unevenly distributed, leading to unequal access to healthcare in underserved areas. Telemedicine is seen as a potential means to address this problem. INTRODUCTION: Telemedicine's potential to improve access depends, in part, on physicians' intention to use the technology. In Senegal that intention is not well known. This study aimed to determine that intention and the factors that influence it. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We conducted a cross-sectional study between January and February 2015 with a random sample of 168 physicians working in public hospitals and 153 in district health centers in Senegal. Data were collected using two questionnaires and analyzed using descriptive statistics, correlations, and linear regression. RESULTS: The intention to use telemedicine by physicians working in public hospitals and district health centers was moderate and was positively correlated with their attitude, subjective norm, and perceived behavioral control. The intention of the physicians working in public hospitals was also positively correlated with their region and status as contract employee, but negatively with their status as government employee. That of the physicians working in district health centers was negatively correlated with their age and years of practice. DISCUSSION: These results showed that, overall, the intention of Senegal's physicians to use telemedicine was moderate and could be improved by acting on factors related to their perceived behavioral control and other factors correlated with their intention. CONCLUSIONS: Physicians' intention to use telemedicine in Senegal is fair but could be improved by addressing the factors identified in this study.
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