Date of Award

5-1-2015

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Health Education

First Advisor

Miller, Kim

Abstract

More than half the population of Saudi Arabia has access to the Internet and social media, which are considered to be the fastest growing methods of communication in the region. The Saudi Ministry of Health encourages health-care providers, health professionals, and health organizations to accept and actively engage in using technology for improving health practices. Despite their increasing importance, there is little published literature on social media use and acceptance among health educators in Saudi Arabia. The purpose of the present study was to better understand the factors that determine the use and acceptance of social media. The theoretical framework consisted of the unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT) as well as an extension to that theory. Through this lens, the study investigated how personal innovativeness in information technology and level of education may influence behavioral intention or use of social media among health educators in Saudi Arabia. A cross-sectional design was employed to determine the relationships among the specified factors. The participants included 320 health educators who filled out an online survey that had been constructed and validated in the literature. Findings indicated that performance expectancy, social influence, and personal innovativeness have a significant positive influence on behavioral intention. Facilitating conditions were negatively significant to user behavior. As anticipated, age and level of education were successfully shown to be a moderator. The study also discussed social media usage patterns among health educators in Saudi Arabia for personal and health-education purposes.

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