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Assessing Patient Proficiency with Internet-Connected Technology and Their Preferences for E-Health in Cirrhosis


Assessing Patient Proficiency with Internet-Connected Technology and Their Preferences for E-Health in Cirrhosis

J Med Syst. 2021 Jun 5;45(7):72. doi: 10.1007/s10916-021-01746-3.

ABSTRACT

There is a rapidly evolving need for e-health to support chronic disease self-management and connect patients with their healthcare teams. Patients with cirrhosis have a high symptom burden, significant comorbidities, and a range of psychological and cognitive issues. Patients with cirrhosis were assessed for their readiness and interest in e-health. Adults attending one of two outpatient cirrhosis clinics in Alberta were recruited. Eligible participants were not required to own or have experience with digital technologies or the Internet. Medical history, socioeconomic status, and attitudes regarding e-health, the Computer Proficiency Questionnaire, and the Mobile Device Proficiency Questionnaire were used to describe participants’ knowledge and skills. Of the 117 recruited patients, 68.4% owned a computer and 84.6% owned a mobile device. Patients had mean proficiency scores of 72.8% (SD 25.9%) and 69.3% (SD 26.4%) for these devices, respectively. In multiple regression analyses, significant predictors of device proficiency were age, education, and household income. Most patients (78.7%) were confident they could participate in videoconferencing after training and most (61.5%) were interested in an online personalized health management program. This diverse group of patients with cirrhosis had technology ownership, proficiency, and online behaviours similar to the general population. Moreover, the patients were very receptive to e-health if training was provided. This promising data is timely given the unique demands of COVID-19 and its influence on self-management and healthcare delivery to a vulnerable population.

PMID:34091771 | DOI:10.1007/s10916-021-01746-3

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