Acceptance and Rejection of Internet for Health Information Among Private Health Professionals in a Nigerian City

Nathan Oguche Emmanuel, Ismaila Dan-Muhammadu


Internet is one technology that has permeated every sphere of human endeavour, including communication, science and technology, telecommunication, education and health among others. However, no matter how useful, fantastic, appealing and gratifying a technology is, not everyone accepts it. The study evaluates how medical professionals in private hospitals in Anyigba, Kogi State, Nigeria integrate the use of Internet into their professional practice. Conducted within the framework of Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), the study employed both quantitative and qualitative methods, using questionnaire and interview schedule respectively to identify factors that precipitate both acceptance and rejection of Internet. The study found that 53% of medical professionals in Anyigba prefer Internet sources as against 20% and 17% who prefer journal/books and professional colleagues respectively. The study also found that health professionals use the Internet mainly to get professional updates (Mean =4.02, Stand Deviation = 1.58, Variance = 2.51), communicate with patients (Mean = 3.94, Standard Deviation = 1.55, Variance = 2.41). Others notable uses identified are for drugs/medication (Mean = 3.77, Standard Deviation = 1.39, Variance = 1.94), monitor trends of diseases (Mean = 3.58, Standard Deviation = 1.75, Variance = 3.05) among other uses. Cost, relevance of information to professional practice, skills on how to use the technology and how readily accessible are the sources, are factors that influence acceptance and/or rejection of a possible information source. The study recommends that health professionals should promote capacity building for both younger and older practitioners on how best to employ Internet-based applications for medical practice.

Keywords: Health communication, Internet, Technology Acceptance Model, Nigerian City, Private Hospital

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ISSN (Paper)2224-3267 ISSN (Online)2224-3275

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