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Can J Public Health. 2000 May-Jun;91(3):225-8.

The health planning context and its effect on a user's perceptions of software usefulness.

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Faculty of Management, University of Calgary.


This article reports a health planner's experience in using program planning software and the contextual factors that influenced her perceptions. The software examined (EMPOWER) is designed to support program planning for prevention of breast cancer through mammography screening. Use by a health professional in an urban hospital was examined through a case study approach. The user was interviewed at 3, 6, and 12 months following initial use. Transcripts were coded using Roger's characteristics of an innovation as a framework for categorizing the user's perceptions. Contextual factors identified as important in influencing her perceptions were open-coded and themes identified. The user referred to three contextual factors in describing characteristics of the innovation: implementation factors, user background, and work and community environment. The successful dissemination of software will depend not only on characteristics of the innovation, but also on situational circumstances that must be changed by, or accommodated in the technology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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