Attitudes towards care robots among Finnish home care personnel – a comparison of two approaches

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Abstract

Study's rationale:

The significance of care robotics has been highlighted in recent years.

Aims and objective:

The article examines the adoption of care robots in home care settings, and in particular Finnish home care personnel's attitudes towards robots. The study compares the importance of the Negative Attitudes towards Robots Scale advanced by Nomura and specific positive attitudes related to the usefulness of care robots for different tasks in the home care.

Methodological design:

A cross-sectional study conducted by questionnaire. The research data were gathered from a survey of Finnish home care personnel (n = 200).

Research methods:

Exploratory factor analysis, Pearson's correlation coefficient and linear regression analysis.

Measures:

The Negative Attitudes towards Robots Scale (NARS), by Nomura, with a specific behavioural intention scale based on Ajzen's theory of planned behaviour, and a measure of positive attitudes towards the usefulness of care robots for different tasks in home care and the promotion of independent living of older persons.

Results:

The study shows that NARS helps to explain psychological resistance related to the introduction of care robots, although the scale is susceptible to cultural differences. Care personnel's behavioural intentions related to the introduction of robot applications are influenced also by the perception of the usefulness of care robots.

Study limitations:

The study is based only on a Finnish sample, and the response rate of the study was relatively small (18.2%), which limits the generalisability of the results.

Conclusions:

The study shows that the examination of home care personnel's attitudes towards robots is not justified to focus only on one aspect, but a better explanation is achieved by combining the perspectives of societal attitudes, attitudes related to psychological reactions and the practical care and promotion of the independent living of older people.

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