Interpreting technology: Use and non-use of doctor-patient video consultations in Danish general practice

Elle Christine Lüchau*, Helen Atherton, Finn Olesen, Jens Søndergaard, Elisabeth Assing Hvidt

*Corresponding author for this work

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This study uses socio-cognitive theory on technological frames to understand how and why general practitioners in Denmark use or choose not to use video consultations. Video consultations play a vital role in the digitalisation of the Danish healthcare system. Whilst political decision-makers continuously push for increased use of video consultations, uptake accounts for less than 2% of all consultations. Research is needed that explores the actual circumstances and conditions of video consultation use. Our data corpus consists of 30 semi-structured interviews conducted from August 2021 to August 2022 with 27 Danish general practitioners. Interviews were analysed following reflexive thematic analysis. Our findings show that video consultations are interpreted as 1) compromising occupational values, 2) a crisis tool, 3) the future, and 4) a tool to improve work conditions. Video consultations are differently adopted across clinics due to different interpretations of the technology and its relative advantage in specific clinical contexts. We argue that the concept of technological frames offers a useful analytic perspective for elucidating and anticipating attitudes and actions towards a technology. It increases our understanding of the uptake and rejection of video consultations. This knowledge is valuable for clinicians and politicians working with technological innovation in general practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116215
JournalSocial Science and Medicine
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors


  • Humans
  • General Practice
  • General Practitioners
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Telemedicine
  • Denmark


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