Primary care Physicians, Perception and Acceptance of Telehealth in Buraidah, Saudi Arabia
Introduction: Telehealth is the use of information and communication technology for the exchange of information for the diagnosis and treatment of diseases. In Saudi Arabia, the use of telehealth is met by obstacles particularly, patients and physician’s resistance to accept this reform due to the lack of knowledge about this concept. Aim: This study aimed to assess primary care physicians, perception, and acceptance of telehealth in Buraidah, Saudi Arabia. Materials and methods: This are a cross-sectional study targeting all primary care physicians who work in primary care centres in Buraidah, Saudi Arabia. A self-administered questionnaire has been distributed to the targeted physicians using google forms. The questionnaire includes socio demographic characteristics and the modified technology acceptance model for health professionals' questionnaire. All data analyses were carried out using SPSS version 26. Results: A total of 100 primary care physicians were recruited. The most encountered age group was 25-35 years (45%) with predominantly higher number of males compared to females (66% vs 34%). Attitude (mean=6.03) and perceived usefulness (mean=6.03) were the important factors for accepting telehealth while physician habit was the least important factor (mean=5.47). The perception of oldest age group (>45 years) was significantly less likely to be influenced by perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use, attitude, compatibility, facilitators, and intention domains (p<0.05). Conclusion: Primary care physicians’ perception to accept telehealth was greatly influenced by the perceived usefulness and their attitude about it. Furthermore, the perception and acceptance of family physicians of telehealth was higher than that of general practitioners.