Application of the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology model to predict dental students' behavioral intention to use teledentistry
Alabdullah, J.H.; Van Lunen, B.L.; Claiborne, D.M.; Daniel, S.J.; Yen, C.-J.; Gustin, T.S.
Journal of Dental Education 84(11): 1262-1269
Teledentistry is an innovative technology that can be used to improve access to care and oral health outcomes. Dental students' intention to use teledentistry after completing dental school has not been investigated. The unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) was used to predict intentions to use teledentistry among 4th-year U.S. dental students. A cross-sectional approach was performed for a 7-week period in Spring 2019. All U.S. dental schools (N = 66) were invited to participate and 16 schools agreed to participate. An anonymous survey link was emailed to academic deans for dissemination to students. A total of 1416 4th-year dental students received the anonymous survey link and 210 students completed the survey (response rate = 14.8%). The survey included questions and scales that measured the UTAUT constructs of performance expectancy (PE), effort expectancy (EE), social influence (SI), facilitating conditions (FC), and behavioral intentions (BI). Data were analyzed using SPSS version 24. The study was deemed exempt by institutional review board. The dental students' BI to use teledentistry was significantly predicted by PE (R2 = 33%, P < 0.01), EE (R2 = 24%, P < 0.01), SI (R2 = 24%, P < 0.01), and FC (R2 = 14%, P < 0.01). The UTAUT model was statistically significant in predicting the BI and explained 40% of BI variance (R2 = .40, P < 0.01). Dental students' perceptions about PE, EE, SI, and FC were associated with BI. Therefore, exposure to teledentistry while in dental school could increase the likelihood of use as a practicing provider.