Prisoners as Users of Digital Health Care and Social Welfare Services: A Finnish Attitude Survey
Rantanen, Teemu; Järveläinen, Eeva; Leppälahti, Teppo (2021)
Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
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Prisoners are a group of people with many health and social problems. However, in prisons the use of the Internet is controlled. Thus, prisoners’ access to digital health care and social welfare services is limited. In addition, there are many cognitive and attitudinal barriers to the use of digital health care and social welfare services for prisoners. Cross-sectional survey data (N = 225) were collected from eleven prisons in different parts of Finland and analysed using linear regression analysis. The results are consistent with Ajzen´s theory and previous studies on the acceptance of information systems in health care. Prisoners´ behavioural intentions related to the use of digital health care and social welfare services are influenced by their perceptions of their capacity to use digital services, the expectations of their close people and their attitudes, as well as by trust in the Internet and services. In contrast, the age of prisoners´ indirectly affects their willingness to use digital services. The study recommends that prisoners are supported in the use of digital health care and social welfare services by prison staff and other people. Digital skills training is also needed in order to support digital inclusion, especially for older and long-term prisoners.