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Background: Implementation of digital technology has been suggested as a potential solution to future healthcare challenges. Healthcare personnel’s attitudes are important in the acceptance and implementation of digital technologies.

Aim: The aims of this study were to (1) translate and validate two different questionnaires to Norwegian and Swedish respectively, and then (2) use these to examine nursing students’ attitudes towards digital technology in healthcare, as well as their attitudes towards older adults’ abilities to use digital technology.

Design: Cross-sectional.

Methods: A web-based questionnaire was distributed in first year nursing students in a Norwegian and a Swedish university college, respectively. The questionnaire consisted of the short form of the ‘Information Technology Attitude Scales for Health (ITASH)’ and the ‘Attitudes Towards Older Adults Using Digital technology (ATOAUT-11)’ questionnaire. The questionnaires were translated and validated in both countries. Frequencies, Student’s t-test, and one-way ANOVA were used to analyze the data.

Results: In total 236 students responded to the questionnaire in the period September 2022 to April 2023. Students mainly reported positive attitudes towards digital technology use in general. They most agreed with the items ‘Using digital technology devices makes my communication with other health professionals faster’, ‘The sort of information I can get from the digital technology devices helps me give better care to patient’, and ‘Digital technology skills are becoming more and more necessary for healthcare professionals’. However, they reported more negative attitudes towards older adults using digital technology. They most agreed with the items ‘One needs a lot of patience to explain to an older adult how to use digital technologies’, ‘It’s hard to explain to older adults how to use digital technology’, ‘Using digital technology is harder for most older adults’, and ‘Most older adults fear using digital technology because they fear of being scammed or cheated’.

Conclusion: The ITASH and the ATOAUT-11 is appropriate for use in a Norwegian and Swedish setting. Even if nursing students are positive to digital technology in healthcare in general, they are sceptical to older adults using digital technology. This may impact on their attitudes to using digital technology in the healthcare of older adults. These aspects need emphasis when revising nursing education curricula focusing on developing technological competencies in nursing, and gaining knowledge regarding older adults’ use of digital technology.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

BMC Nursing



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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.