Perceptions of Risk, Benefit and Trust-A Comparative Assessment Between Healthcare Workers and the General Public Towards 3 Medical Technologies

Shira Ramot, Orna Tal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background and Objective: While there is a substantial amount of research on risk perception, there has been less focus on the way medical technologies are perceived by experts as opposed to lay individuals. We investigated the factors that may influence the risk perception of healthcare workers (HCWs) and the general public regarding 3 distinct medical technologies: magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) and the Covid-19 vaccine. Methods: A cross-sectional study conducted in 2021 among 2 populations: HCWs employed at a general public hospital and a sample of outpatients and individuals who are not medical professionals. The participants completed an electronic questionnaire. Results: In total, 739 respondents were included: 197 HCWs (26.7%) and 542 members of the public (73.3%). Most of the respondents (89.4%) reported being vaccinated against Covid-19, 43.8% had previously undergone an MRI but 90% had not undergone LASIK. Overall, all 3 technologies assessed in the study were rated by the respondents as having a high benefit and low risk. HCWs and the public showed statistically significant differences in perceived risk towards MRI and LASIK, as well as in some of the risk perception characteristics of each technology. In contrast, no differences in risk perception towards the Covid-19 vaccine were found between HCWs and the public. Both study populations showed a significant negative correlation between trust in the MoH and the perceived risk towards MRI and the Covid-19 vaccine. Both study populations regarded information provided by medical sources as the most reliable for decision-making. Conclusion: The perceptions and concerns towards medical technologies influence individuals’ behavior and acceptance of technologies. They are also essential for risk communication. The study contributes to the understanding of attitudes towards various medical technologies, including risk perception, risk characteristics, trust and sources of information pertaining to each of the technologies, by examining the differences between HCWs and the general public.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1587-1598
Number of pages12
JournalRisk Management and Healthcare Policy
Volume17
DOIs
StatePublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 Ramot and Tal.

Keywords

  • healthcare workers
  • information source
  • medical technologies
  • risk perception. trust

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