Technostress and Digital Competence Among Health Professionals in Swiss Psychiatric Hospitals: Cross-sectional Study

Golz, Christoph; Peter, Karin; Müller, Thomas Jörg; Mutschler, Jochen; Zwakhalen, Sandra MG; Hahn, Sabine (2021). Technostress and Digital Competence Among Health Professionals in Swiss Psychiatric Hospitals: Cross-sectional Study JMIR Mental Health, 8(11), pp. 1-11. JMIR Publications 10.2196/31408

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Background: Psychiatric hospitals are becoming increasingly digitized because of the disruptive rise in technical possibilities. This digitization leads to new tasks and demands for health professionals, which can have an impact on technostress. It is unclear whether digital competence reduces technostress and how technostress affects health professionals’ mental and physical health. Objective: This study aims to assess the association between digital competence and technostress, considering individual characteristics and the association between technostress and long-term consequences for health professionals. Methods: Cross-sectional data from 3 Swiss psychiatric hospitals were analyzed using multiple linear regression. The dependent variables for the models were digital competence, technostress, and long-term consequences (intention to leave the organization or the profession, burnout symptoms, job satisfaction, general health status, quality of sleep, headaches, and work ability). One model was calculated for each long-term consequence. The mean scores for technostress and digital competence could range between 0 (fully disagree) and 4 (fully agree), where a high value for technostress indicated high technostress and a high value for digital competence indicated high digital competence. Results: The sample comprised 493 health professionals in psychiatric hospitals. They rated their technostress as moderate (mean 1.30, SD 0.55) and their digital competence as high (mean 2.89, SD 0.73). Digital competence was found to be significantly associated with technostress (β=−.20; P<.001). Among the individual characteristics, age (β=.004; P=.03) and profession were significantly associated with both digital competence and technostress. Technostress is a relevant predictor of burnout symptoms (β=10.32; P<.001), job satisfaction (β=−6.08; P<.001), intention to leave the profession (β=4.53; P=.002), organization (β=7.68; P<.001), general health status (β=−4.47; P<.001), quality of sleep (β=−5.87; P<.001), headaches (β=6.58; P<.001), and work ability (β=−1.40; P<.001). Conclusions: Physicians and nurses who have more interaction with digital technologies rate their technostress higher and their digital competence lower than those in other professions. Health professionals with low interaction with digital technologies appear to overestimate their digital competence. With increasing digitization in psychiatric hospitals, an increase in the relevance of this topic is expected. Educational organizations and psychiatric hospitals should proactively promote the digital competence of health professionals to manage expected disruptive changes.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


School of Health Professions
School of Health Professions > Nursing
School of Health Professions > Nursing > Innovation in the Field of Health Care and Human Resources Development


Golz, Christoph0000-0003-1711-5106;
Peter, Karin;
Müller, Thomas Jörg;
Mutschler, Jochen;
Zwakhalen, Sandra MG and
Hahn, Sabine0000-0002-2697-2014


R Medicine > R Medicine (General)




JMIR Publications


[UNSPECIFIED] Technostress in der Psychiatrie




Christoph Golz

Date Deposited:

12 Nov 2021 11:51

Last Modified:

22 Dec 2021 09:24

Publisher DOI:





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