Internet Use among Community-Based Rehabilitation Workers in Bosnia and Herzegovina: A Cross-Sectional Survey.
PURPOSE: The Internet may be one way to support and improve rehabilitation practice and service delivery in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) such as Bosnia and Herzegovina. Little information exists on use of the Internet to enhance the practice and professional development of community-based rehabilitation (CBR) workers in LMICs. The purpose of this study was to assess the patterns of and barriers to Internet use by CBR workers in Bosnia and Herzegovina. METHODS: Participants were CBR workers (physiotherapists, physiatrists, and technicians) from Bosnia and Herzegovina who attended a conference or workshop in 2005. A cross-sectional questionnaire was administered in the local language to assess Internet use. Descriptive results were summarized in tables. Bivariate and multiple logistic regressions were used to assess factors associated with Internet use. RESULTS: A total of 33% of respondents had never used the Internet. Common barriers to Internet use included "not enough time" (24%), "no access" (23%), and "lack of skill" (18%). Participants with higher levels of education had greater odds of using the Internet than physiotherapy school graduates (odds ratio=7.6, p=0.016) and had greater odds of using the Internet to obtain medical, rehabilitation, or health information (odds ratio=5.8, p=0.028). CONCLUSIONS: Improving CBR workers' access to the Internet and their proficiency in using it may enable them to obtain valuable rehabilitation-related information and enhance communication among CBR workers, potentially translating into improved rehabilitation services for people with disabilities in LMICs.
Yeung, E; Balogh, R; Cole, D; Jakovic, D; Landry, MD
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