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Assessing electronic health literacy at an urban academic hospital

HumanInsight Assessing electronic health literacy at an urban academic hospital

Appl Clin Inform. 2023 Feb 23. doi: 10.1055/a-2041-4500. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Residents of the Bronx suffer marked health disparities due to socioeconomic and other factors. The COVID-19 pandemic worsened these health outcome disparities and healthcare access disparities, especially with the abrupt transition to online care.

OBJECTIVES: This study classified electronic health literacy (EHL) among patients at an urban, academic hospital in the Bronx, and assessed for associations between EHL levels and various demographic characteristics.

METHODS: We designed a cross-sectional, observational study in adults 18 years or older presenting to the Montefiore Einstein Center for Cancer Care (MECCC) Department of Radiation Oncology or the Montefiore Department of Medicine in the Bronx. We assessed EHL using the eHealth Literacy Scale (eHEALS) survey, a previously validated tool, and our newly developed eHealth Literacy Objective Scale-Scenario Based (eHeLiOS-SB) tool.

RESULTS: A total of 97 patients recruited from the Montefiore MECCC and Department of Medicine participated in this study. There was a statistically significant association between age and EHL as assessed by both eHEALS and eHeLiOS-SB, with older adults having lower EHL scores. Additionally, a question designed to assess general attitudes toward digital health technologies found that most participants had a positive attitude toward such applications.

CONCLUSIONS: Many patients, especially older adults, may require additional support to effectively navigate telehealth. Further research is warranted to optimize telemedicine strategies in this potentially-marginalized population and ultimately to create telehealth practices accessible to patients of all ages and demographics.

PMID:36822226 | DOI:10.1055/a-2041-4500

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