Intention to Use Wiki-Based Knowledge Tools: Survey of Quebec Emergency Health Professionals

JMIR Med Inform. 2021 Jun 18;9(6):e24649. doi: 10.2196/24649.


Background: Clinical decision support systems are information technologies that assist clinicians in making better decisions. Their adoption has been limited because their content is difficult to adapt to local contexts and slow to adapt to emerging evidence. Collaborative writing applications such as wikis have the potential to increase access to existing and emerging evidence-based knowledge at the point of care, standardize emergency clinical decision making, and quickly adapt this knowledge to local contexts. However, little is known about the factors influencing health professionals' use of wiki-based knowledge tools.

Objective: This study aims to measure emergency physicians' (EPs) and other acute care health professionals' (ACHPs) intentions to use wiki-based knowledge tools in trauma care and identify determinants of this intention that can be used in future theory-based interventions for promoting the use of wiki-based knowledge tools in trauma care.

Methods: In total, 266 EPs and 907 ACHPs (nurses, respiratory therapists, and pharmacists) from 12 Quebec trauma centers were asked to answer a survey based on the theory of planned behavior (TPB). The TPB constructs were measured using a 7-point Likert scale. Descriptive statistics and Pearson correlations between the TPB constructs and intention were calculated. Multiple linear regression analysis was conducted to identify the salient beliefs.

Results: Among the eligible participants, 57.1% (152/266) of EPs and 31.9% (290/907) of ACHPs completed the questionnaire. For EPs, we found that attitude, perceived behavioral control (PBC), and subjective norm (SN) were significant determinants of the intention to use wiki-based knowledge tools and explained 62% of its variance. None of the sociodemographic variables were related to EPs' intentions to use wiki-based knowledge tools. The regression model identified two normative beliefs ("approval by physicians" and "approval by patients") and two behavioral beliefs ("refreshes my memory" and "reduces errors"). For ACHPs, attitude, PBC, SN, and two sociodemographic variables (profession and the previous personal use of a wiki) were significantly related to the intention to use wiki-based knowledge tools and explained 60% of the variance in behavioral intention. The final regression model for ACHPs included two normative beliefs ("approval by the hospital trauma team" and "people less comfortable with information technology"), one control belief ("time constraints"), and one behavioral belief ("access to evidence").

Conclusions: The intentions of EPs and ACHPs to use wiki-based knowledge tools to promote best practices in trauma care can be predicted in part by attitude, SN, and PBC. We also identified salient beliefs that future theory-based interventions should promote for the use of wiki-based knowledge tools in trauma care. These interventions will address the barriers to using wiki-based knowledge tools, find ways to ensure the quality of their content, foster contributions, and support the exploration of wiki-based knowledge tools as potential effective knowledge translation tools in trauma care.

Keywords: collaborative writing applications; implementation science; knowledge management; knowledge translation; trauma care; wikis.