University of Oulu

Veikkolainen, P., Tuovinen, T., Jarva, E., Tuomikoski, A.-M., Männistö, M., Pääkkönen, J., Pihlajasalo, T., & Reponen, J. (2023). Ehealth competence building for future doctors and nurses – attitudes and capabilities. International Journal of Medical Informatics, 169, 104912.

eHealth competence building for future doctors and nurses : attitudes and capabilities

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Author: Veikkolainen, Paula1; Tuovinen, Timo1,2; Jarva, Erika3;
Organizations: 1FinnTelemedicum, Research Unit of Medical Imaging, Physics and Technology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Finland
2Medical Research Center Oulu, Oulu University Hospital and University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
3Research Unit of Nursing Science and Health Management, University of Oulu, Oulu Finland
4Oulu University Hospital, Oulu, Finland
5Oulu University of Applied Science, Oulu, Finland
6Centre for Health and Technology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Finland
7Mehiläinen Health Services, Vaasa Unit, Vaasa, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.6 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Elsevier, 2023
Publish Date: 2023-03-21


Background: Digitalisation is rapidly changing health care processes and the health care sector, thus increasing the need to improve the digital competence of future health care professionals.

Purpose: The aim of this study was to describe the attitudes of medical and nursing students towards digital health based on self-evaluation as well as to compare the differences in perceptions between the two student groups.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted as an online survey using the Webropol in April 2021 at the University of Oulu and Oulu University of Applied Sciences in Finland. The survey questionnaire consisted of seven background questions and 16 statements on a five-point Likert scale (fully disagree to fully agree) to survey student attitudes towards eHealth, and their digital capabilities.

Results: A total of 250 medical and nursing students were invited to participate in the study and 170 of them took the survey (response rate 68 %). Of those answered, 38 % (n = 64) were nursing and 32 % (n = 106) medical students. Students generally had a positive attitude towards eHealth and health care digitalisation. The differences in perceptions and preparedness between medical and nursing students were surprisingly small in the two student groups. There was a statistically significant difference between the two groups in three out of 16 statements: these were related to changes in the roles of health care professionals and patients as well as the students’ knowledge of information contained in the national patient portal.

Conclusions: The results of this study provide a good starting point for further harmonisation of the curriculum for both health professional groups regarding the teaching of eHealth and telemedicine.

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Series: International journal of medical informatics
ISSN: 1386-5056
ISSN-E: 1872-8243
ISSN-L: 1386-5056
Volume: 169
Article number: 104912
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijmedinf.2022.104912
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 217 Medical engineering
Funding: This work was supported by the Finnish Ministry of Education and Culture [MEDigi OKM/270/523/2017].
Copyright information: © 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (