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Open Access Research article

Knowledge and utilization of information communication technology (ICT) among health science students at the University of Gondar, North Western Ethiopia

Solomon Assefa Woreta1*, Yigzaw Kebede2 and Desalegn Tegabu Zegeye2

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Public Health, Department of Health Informatics, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia

2 Institute of Public Health, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia

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BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making 2013, 13:31  doi:10.1186/1472-6947-13-31

Published: 3 March 2013

Abstract

Background

Despite the relatively huge ICT investment and policy deployment in higher institutions in Ethiopia, there is still scant information about the success of implementation of the Information Communication Technology (ICT) in the higher education. This study, therefore, was carried out with an aim to assess knowledge and utilization of Information Communication Technology (ICT) among medicine and health science students and its associated factors in Gondar College of Medicine and Health sciences, University of Gondar.

Methods

A cross-sectional study was conducted at the College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Ethiopia. Data regarding socio-demographic characteristics of the students, level of knowledge and utilization of ICT were collected by means of a self-administered questionnaire. Data was analyzed using SPSS version 13.

Results

A total of 1096 students responded giving a response rate of 97.8%. The mean age of the study participants was 20.3 (±1. 3) years. Females constitute only 26% of the respondents. The majority (79%) were fulltime students. Only half of the respondents (51%) had ICT knowledge and only 46% students utilized ICT while 47% of the respondents never used electronic communication (e.g. email or chat room) and 39% of the respondents never used Microsoft office (e.g. word ® or WordPerfect ®). ICT knowledge [AOR = 2.5, 95% CI: 1.7-3.5], family educational background [AOR = 4.36, 95% CI: 2.16-8.80], and perceived quality of training [AOR = 1.9, 95% CI: 1.3-2.8] showed strong and positive associations with ICT utilization. Students from urban areas were more likely to utilize ICT compared with those from rural areas [AOR = 2.7, 95% CI: 2.097, 3.497], and information technology training was found to be positively associated with ICT utilization [AOR = 2. 07, 95% CI: 1.18, 3.62].

Conclusions

The result showed that students’ knowledge was inadequate and utilization of ICT was poor. Therefore, the university should sustain professional development to improve teaching, to raise student performance and equip the college with student centered ICT computer labs to increase students’ ICT utilization.