Using tablets in medical consultations: Single loop and double loop learning processes

Iris Reychav*, Richard Kumi, Rajiv Sabherwal, Joseph Azuri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objective This paper investigates the influence of using tablet in waiting rooms and medical examinations on how physicians give information and how patients learn. It further assesses the factors that impact patient satisfaction. Methods Patients and physicians in a primary care clinic were given a tablet device to search for health information in the waiting room, and when interacting with the physician, while physicians used the tablet device to share information with patients during the medical consultation. 82 patients completed a 'pre' survey on using tablets to search for health related information and a 'post' survey after their visit. Structural equation modeling was employed to analyze patient's perceptions. Results Tablet use during consultation has a negative effect on patients' perceptions of physician information giving, but using the tablet in the waiting room has a positive impact on patient learning, perceptions of physicians' information giving and patient satisfaction. Conclusions This study indicates the importance of tablet use in ensuring information giving and patient learning. It further highlights the potential for tablets to promote single-loop learning in the medical encounter by better preparing patients for the physician's information giving. Tablets also enable double-loop learning, which leads to greater patient satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-426
Number of pages12
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2016


  • Double-loop learning
  • Information giving
  • Patient learning
  • Patient satisfaction
  • Single-loop learning
  • Tablet use


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