The impact of individual factors on healthcare staff's computer use in psychiatric hospitals

Marita Koivunen, Maritta Anneli Vaelimaeki, Anita Koskinen, Nancy Staggers, Jouko Katajisto

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Aim. The study examines whether individual factors of healthcare staff are associated with computer use in psychiatric hospitals. In addition, factors inhibiting staff's optimal use of computers were explored. Background. Computer applications have developed the content of clinical practice and changed patterns of professional working. Healthcare staff need new capacities to work in clinical practice, including the basic computers skills. Computer use amongst healthcare staff has widely been studied in general, but cogent information is still lacking in psychiatric care. Methods. Staff's computer use was assessed using a structured questionnaire (The Staggers Nursing Computer Experience Questionnaire). The study population was healthcare staff working in two psychiatric hospitals in Finland (n = 470, response rate = 59%). The data were analysed with descriptive statistics and manova with main effects and two-way interaction effects of six individual factors. Results. Nurses who had more experience of computer use or of the implementation processes of computer systems were more motivated to use computers than those who had less experience of these issues. Males and administrative personnel who were younger had also participated more often than women in implementation processes of computer systems. The most significant factor inhibiting the use of computers was lack of interest in them. Conclusions. In psychiatric hospitals, more direct attention should focus on staff's capacities to use computers and to increase their understanding of the benefits in clinical care, especially for women and ageing staff working in psychiatric hospitals. Relevance to clinical practice. To avoid exclusion amongst healthcare personnel in information society and to ensure that they have capacities to guide patients on how to use computers or to evaluate the quality of health information on the web, staff's capacities and motivation to use computers in mental health and psychiatric nursing should be ensured.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1141-1150
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Clinical Nursing
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Computers
  • Information technology
  • Nurses
  • Nursing
  • Psychiatric hospitals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nursing(all)


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