The effect of e-health contents on health science students' attitude toward the efficiency of health ICT in care provision
Objective: This study aimed to examine the effects of e-health education content on the attitude of undergraduate health science students towards the efficiency of health ICT in healthcare provision. Methods: A cross-sectional survey design was used. Participants were Health Sciences students attending University of Sydney. Students were divided into three groups: junior students enrolled in a subject with non e-health content; senior students enrolled in a subject with non e-health content; and students enrolled in a subject with e-health content. Students' attitude towards the efficiency of ICT in healthcare provision was measured by a modified version of the Information Technology Attitude Scales for Health (ITASH). Results: Students enrolled in the subject with e-health content had a significantly higher average baseline attitude score than the other two groups (T198=-3.47, p=0.001; T93=-2.43, p=0.017). The repeat measures analysis yielded a result with significant interaction between survey time and student group (F2, 267=4.99, p=0.007) suggesting that changes of score was dependent on student group status. Conclusion: Subjects rich in e-health content significantly enhanced student attitudes, even with a group of students with a rather positive initial attitude. To facilitate the uptake and utilisation of health ICT by the future health workforce, it is important for tertiary educational institutes to provide students with sufficient exposure to specific health-related ICT training, via specifically designed subjects delivering both generic and specific e-health content.