Background: Older adults are a rapidly growing group world-wide, requiring an increasing amount of healthcare. Technological innovations such as care robots may support the growing demand for care. However, hardly any studies address those who will most closely collaborate with care robots: the (trainee) healthcare professional. Methods: This study examined the moral considerations, perceptions of utility, and acceptance among trainee healthcare professionals toward different types of care robots in an experimental questionnaire design (N = 357). We also examined possible differences between participants' intermediate and higher educational levels. Results: The results show that potential maleficence of care robots dominated the discussion in both educational groups. Assisting robots were seen as potentially the most maleficent. Both groups deemed companion robots least maleficent and most acceptable, while monitoring robots were perceived as least useful. Results further show that the acceptance of robots in care was more strongly associated with the participants' moral considerations than with utility. Conclusions: Professional care education should include moral considerations and utility of robotics as emerging care technology. The healthcare and nursing students of today will collaborate with the robotic colleagues of tomorrow.
- Care education;moral perceptions
- Healthcare robots
- Healthcare/nursing professionals
- Technology acceptance