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In view of demographic development and the associated epidemiological trends, the care sector is increasingly under pressure. Digital technologies have the potential to improve the quality of care for clients and for caregivers, thus alleviating the tense situation. In recent years, numerous products and software applications have been developed for use in mobile elderly care. This trend towards digitalisation has been further accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The implementation of new technologies poses numerous challenges for all actors involved, which have to be tackled in addition to their daily workload. One of the biggest challenges is to change habitual behaviours, workflows and routines in everyday work. Only if the technologies to be implemented are accepted they can subsequently be used successfully in everyday work and unfold their intended potential.

Against this background, the thesis focuses on acceptance research on interactive telecare technologies among caregivers in mobile elderly care. The results are presented in form of a technology acceptance model (TAM), specifically "TAM-Telecare". TAM-Telecare is intended to contribute to the development and implementation of new technologies in (mobile) home care in the future.

The application of TAM-Telecare enables ...

  • ... developers to be more successful, as technologies/software applications can be developed from the very beginning according to the needs and expectations of caregivers.

  • ... organisations to optimise implementation processes and to avoid costs for mis- implementations, as rollout decisions are made depending on the acceptance results of previous pilot phases. Technologies can thus be forced or eliminated at an early stage.

  • ... caregivers as users of technologies to influence corporate decisions on the implementation and use of technologies or software applications through the transparent presentation of acceptance or rejection as well as the underlying reasons of the collective as a result of the empirical surveys.

Research Design:

The study combines qualitative and quantitative research methods ("mixed-methods approach"). A systematic literature review forms the starting point for the subsequent empirical parts of the research. A qualitative preliminary study identifies influencing factors on the acceptance of technologies among caregivers in home care that cannot be easily observed or captured by standardised surveys. The identified factors constitute the preliminary theoretical acceptance model TAM-Telecare, which is subsequently tested in a quantitative main study using empirical data and structural equation modeling.

Aims of the thesis at a glance

The aim of the thesis is to determine the acceptance factors of messenger services among caregivers in mobile care.

The thesis treats the following aspects:
1) Systematic overview of the evidence of existing acceptance models used in the care sector.
2) Identification of influencing factors that contribute to a positive or negative behavioral intention to use telecare technologies among caregivers in mobile care.
3) Development of an acceptance model for interactive telecare technologies based onexisting acceptance theories.
4) Empirical testing of the conceptualised acceptance model TAM-Telecare using well-known messenger services.

Investigated technologies for use in mobile elderly care:

  • Digital voice assistants (smart speakers)

  • Messenger services

Duration: 01.1.2021 - 31.12.2024

Funding: Wirtschaftuniversität Wien

Team WU:

Friedrich Ebner, MA
Univ.Prof. Dr. Ulrike Schneider