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Receptiveness Of GPs In The South Of Saxony-Anhalt, Germany To Obtaining Training On Technical Assistance Systems For Caregiving: A Cross-Sectional Study

Authors Buhtz C, Paulicke D, Schwarz K, Jahn P, Stoevesandt D, Frese T

Received 5 June 2019

Accepted for publication 21 August 2019

Published 17 September 2019 Volume 2019:14 Pages 1649—1656

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S218367

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Justinn Cochran

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker


Christian Buhtz,1 Denny Paulicke,1,2 Karsten Schwarz,1 Patrick Jahn,3 Dietrich Stoevesandt,1 Thomas Frese4

1Dorothea Erxleben Learning Center, Medical Faculty, of Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Saale), Germany; 2International Graduate Academy, Institute for Health and Nursing Science, Medical Faculty, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Saale), Germany; 3Institute for Health Science, Department Nursing Science, Medical Faculty Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany; 4Institute for General Practice and Family Medicine, Medical Faculty of Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Halle (Saale), Germany

Correspondence: Christian Buhtz
Dorothea Erxleben Learning Center, Medical Faculty of Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Magdeburger Straße 12, Halle (Saale) 06112, Germany
Tel +49 345 557 4099
Email christian.buhtz@medizin.uni-halle.de

Background: Challenges to general practitioners (GPs) as family doctors in Germany are growing because of the demographic situation. Technical assistance systems can improve the care for patients provided by GPs and care personnel to preserve autonomy. GPs are key persons in the health care team to recommend and facilitate access to technical solutions to influence their implementation into their patients’ homes.
Aim: Explore the general receptiveness of GPs in Germany regarding state-of-the-art and modern assistive technology, as well as their experiences, attitudes and expectations and their training demands.
Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among GPs in Germany with a self-developed questionnaire sent by mail.
Results: Response rate was 34% (n=194). As expected computers and smartphones are widely used. Data glasses, digital pens and virtual reality and others are often “unknown”. Experience with assistive technology was gained with emergency call systems, smart calendars and tablet dispensers. Self-reported receptiveness to use innovative technology is high but knowledge is low. The majority reported lack of access to training and support. The receptiveness for advanced education about technical solutions is high. In free-text response, some communicated their worries about the replacement of human interaction with technology.
Conclusion: The survey showed an overall high receptiveness about assistance technology to GPs and strong demands for education and support. Education for GPs need greater efforts to master the process transforming the digital health care provision.

Keywords: general practitioners, physicians, family physicians, self-help devices, technology, outpatients

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