Introduction and Background: From Everett Rogers‟ theory of Diffusion of Innovations
(DoI) and Yrjö Engeström‟s Activity Systems Model (ASM), this thesis attempts to
create models of South African Primary Care doctors‟ Internet usage, with a view to
improving the delivery of Primary Care in South Africa.
It identifies the problems associated with the South African Primary Care doctors‟ access
to information, communication with colleagues, communication with patients, the patient
as partner, and practice management. It raises a practical research question of how the
Internet can best be used to serve the needs of South African Primary Care doctors in
dealing with these problems.
Theoretical Background: It then examines the two theoretical perspectives that guide the
research, the Activity Systems Model and Diffusion of Innovations, and raises two
research questions regarding the relationship of these theories to the South African
Primary Care doctors‟ use of the Internet.
Methods: The thesis then proposes a three part study: an international systematic
literature review of Internet use by doctors, a survey of South African Primary Care
doctors, and a series of interviews and focus groups using Grounded Theory to provide
explanations for the survey results.
The systematic literature review obtains descriptive data on usage, barriers and
motivations. Based on these figures and the theories, the thesis makes predictions about
usage by South African doctors. The survey of 2 600 South African Primary Care
doctors and follow-up interviews and focus groups with 19 doctors provide data against
which the predictions are measured, and the models of the South African usage patterns
Results: South African Primary Care doctors use the Internet in ways that are similar to
their International colleagues, but variations in the patterns exist. While differences are
caused by infrastructural shortcomings, organisational and social issues have a critical
Discussion: DoI and ASM theories are used to model usage patterns. The research
questions are answered through interweaving DoI and ASM. Both DoI and ASM are
appropriately modified, and provide an analytical framework for understanding Internet
usage among doctors. The final model produced is a DoI-ASM framework that describes
the transition of the doctors‟ practice in Primary Care within the context of the Internet
diffusion, and the impact of the changing nature of the patient as partner. The value of
the model lies in its predictive potential for future Internet usage patterns of the South
African Primary Care doctors
SSA, R (2021). The Diffusion of the Internet amongst South African Primary Care Doctors: An Activity Systems View. Afribary.com: Retrieved May 10, 2021, from https://afribary.com/works/the-diffusion-of-the-internet-amongst-south-african-primary-care-doctors-an-activity-systems-view
Research, SSA. "The Diffusion of the Internet amongst South African Primary Care Doctors: An Activity Systems View" Afribary.com. Afribary.com, 25 Apr. 2021, https://afribary.com/works/the-diffusion-of-the-internet-amongst-south-african-primary-care-doctors-an-activity-systems-view . Accessed 10 May. 2021.
Research, SSA. "The Diffusion of the Internet amongst South African Primary Care Doctors: An Activity Systems View". Afribary.com, Afribary.com, 25 Apr. 2021. Web. 10 May. 2021. < https://afribary.com/works/the-diffusion-of-the-internet-amongst-south-african-primary-care-doctors-an-activity-systems-view >.
Research, SSA. "The Diffusion of the Internet amongst South African Primary Care Doctors: An Activity Systems View" Afribary.com (2021). Accessed May 10, 2021. https://afribary.com/works/the-diffusion-of-the-internet-amongst-south-african-primary-care-doctors-an-activity-systems-view