About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 3823-3826
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-608-8860-4
ISSN: 2340-1117
doi: 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1913

Conference name: 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 4-6 July, 2016
Location: Barcelona, Spain

GENDER DIFFERENCES IN MEDICAL STUDENTS’ PERCEPTIONS AND ATTITUDES TOWARD LEARNING HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY

R.J. Jacobs, H. Iqbal, A. Rana, Z. Rana

Nova Southeastern University (UNITED STATES)
Background:
Technology readiness is the ability to understand and be prepared to use technology tools in the future. It is a composition of mental enablers and inhibitors that collectively determine a person’s predisposition to use new technologies. Previous research has highlighted that women lag behind men in access to and use of technology, which may inhibit female medical students from becoming ready to effectively utilize health information technology (HIT) tools (e.g., electronic medical records[EMR]) as they approach residency placements. Given the increasing use of advanced technologies in the delivery of health care and more women entering the medical workforce, it is imperative we address gender disparities in students comfort and ability to use HIT. The purpose of this study was to identify gender differences in attitudes toward technology and technology readiness in particular.

Methods:
Using a questionnaire designed for this study that included Parasuraman’s Technology Readiness Index (TRI), we collected data from 604 students enrolled in a four-year U.S. medical school. The 72-item instrument was offered in pen-and-paper or online format. The questionnaire, aside from containing demographic items (e.g., gender), investigated students’ technology readiness, knowledge of HIT, computer self-efficacy, flexibility and openness to change, perceived ease of use and usefulness of HIT, and attitudes toward mobile technology use.

Results:
About half (48%) of respondents were female. An independent-samples t-test was conducted to TRI scores for female and male students in the sample. There was a significant difference in the scores for females (M=2.92, SD=.539) and males (M= 3.18, SD=.580); t(535) = 5.42, p < .001, whereby women scored lower than men on technical readiness. Chi square tests of independence were calculated comparing prior experience with HIT tools (e.g., EMR), perceived computer self-efficacy, and whether men were thought to be better than women with computers. Female students reported more prior experience with using HIT tools such as EMR (X2 (1) = 12.82, p < .001; 56.9% vs. 43.1%) and disagreed with the idea that men were better than women with computers (X2 (1) = 34.73, p < .001, 60.8% vs. 39.2%). Conversely, female students reported less confidence in completing a task using new software when no one was around to guide them (X2 (1) = 13.52, p < .001, 42% vs. 58%). Feeling more anxious about not being good enough with computers to learn HIT approached significance (X2 (1) = p < .057, 54.2% vs. 45.8%).

Conclusion:
Our study was designed to investigate gender differences in medical students’ perceptions and attitudes regarding technology, HIT, and technology readiness. This is the first study to our knowledge identifying gender differences in medical students’ in technology readiness as it relates to HIT tool utilization. Our findings indicate that while female students reported having more experience using HIT and believed men were no better than women with computers, they scored significantly lower on technology readiness, had less self-efficacy for learning new software and lower confidence that their computer skills were sufficient for learning how to use HIT tools. The dissonance between female medical students’ prior experience with HIT and feeling equal to men in computer capability -- and their perceived low self-efficacy to learn new health information technologies -- needs further exploration.
@InProceedings{JACOBS2016GEN,
author = {Jacobs, R.J. and Iqbal, H. and Rana, A. and Rana, Z.},
title = {GENDER DIFFERENCES IN MEDICAL STUDENTS’ PERCEPTIONS AND ATTITUDES TOWARD LEARNING HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY},
series = {8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies},
booktitle = {EDULEARN16 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-8860-4},
issn = {2340-1117},
doi = {10.21125/edulearn.2016.1913},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/edulearn.2016.1913},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Barcelona, Spain},
month = {4-6 July, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {3823-3826}}
TY - CONF
AU - R.J. Jacobs AU - H. Iqbal AU - A. Rana AU - Z. Rana
TI - GENDER DIFFERENCES IN MEDICAL STUDENTS’ PERCEPTIONS AND ATTITUDES TOWARD LEARNING HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY
SN - 978-84-608-8860-4/2340-1117
DO - 10.21125/edulearn.2016.1913
PY - 2016
Y1 - 4-6 July, 2016
CI - Barcelona, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
JA - EDULEARN16 Proceedings
SP - 3823
EP - 3826
ER -
R.J. Jacobs, H. Iqbal, A. Rana, Z. Rana (2016) GENDER DIFFERENCES IN MEDICAL STUDENTS’ PERCEPTIONS AND ATTITUDES TOWARD LEARNING HEALTH INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, EDULEARN16 Proceedings, pp. 3823-3826.
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