Background: Although telemedicine care has grown in recent years, telepsychiatry is growing at a slower pace than expected, because service providers often hamper the assimilation and expansion of telepsychiatry due their attitudes and perceptions. The unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) is a model that was developed to assess the factors influencing the assimilation of a new technology. We used the UTAUT model to examine the associations between the attitudes and perceptions of psychiatrists in Israel toward telepsychiatry and their intention to use it. Methods: An online, close-ended questionnaire based on a modified UTAUT model was distributed among psychiatrists in Israel. Seventy-six questionnaires were completed and statistically analyzed. Results: The behavioral intention of Israeli psychiatrists to use telepsychiatry was relatively low, despite their perceptions of themselves as capable of high performance with low effort. Nonetheless, they were interested in using telepsychiatry voluntarily. Experience in telepsychiatry, and to a lesser extent, facilitating conditions, were found to be positively correlated with the intention to use telepsychiatry. Psychiatrists have a positive attitude toward treating patients by telepsychiatry and perceive its risk as moderate. Discussion: Despite high performance expectancy, low effort expectancy, low perceived risk, largely positive attitudes, high voluntariness, and the expectancy for facilitating conditions, the intention to use telepsychiatry was rather low. This result is explained by the low level of experience, which plays a pivotal role. We recommend promoting the facilitating conditions that affect the continued use of telepsychiatry when initiating its implementation, and conclude that it is critical to create a sense of success during the initial stages of experience.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was funded by the Israel National Institute for Health Policy Research (Grant No. 2018/11/r).
Copyright © 2022 Kaphzan, Sarfati Noiman and Negev.
- barriers and facilitative factors
- mental health services
- unified theory of acceptance and the use of technology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health