Patients’ readiness to use e-oral health technologies
Objectives: Scientific evidence highlights the importance of e-readiness in the adoption and implementation of e-oral health technologies. However, to our knowledge, there is no study investigating the perspective of patients in this regard. Therefore, the objective of this study was to explore patients’ e-readiness in the field of dentistry.
Methods: A qualitative study was conducted using interpretive description methodology. Purposeful sampling with maximum variation and snowball techniques were used to recruit the study participants via McGill University dental clinics and affiliated hospitals, as well as private or public dental care organizations. A total of 15 face-to-face, semi-structured, 60 to 90-minute audio-recorded interviews were conducted. Data collection and analyses were performed concurrently, and interviews were continued until saturation was reached. Activity theory was used as the conceptual framework, and thematic analysis was used to analyse data. Data analysis was conducted both manually and with the use of Atlas-ti software.
Results: Four major themes emerged from the study: Unlocking barriers, Affordability, Inquisitiveness for e-oral health technology, Enduring oral health benefits. These themes correspond with all three types of readiness: core, engagement and structural.
Conclusions: The study results suggest that dental patients consider e-oral health as a facilitator to access to care, and they are ready to learn and use e-oral health technology. There is a need to implement and support e-oral health technologies to improve patient care.