HumanInsight Factors Associated With Telemedicine Use Among Patients With Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Disease: Secondary Analysis of Data From a German Nationwide Survey
J Med Internet Res. 2023 Jan 27;25:e40912. doi: 10.2196/40912.
BACKGROUND: Previous studies have demonstrated telemedicine (TM) to be an effective tool to complement rheumatology care and address workforce shortage. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, TM experienced a massive upswing. A previous study revealed that physicians' willingness to use TM and actual use of TM are closely connected to their knowledge of TM. However, it remains unclear which factors are associated with patients' motivation to use TM.
OBJECTIVE: This study aims to identify the factors that determine patients' willingness to try TM (TM try) and their wish that their rheumatologists offer TM services (TM wish).
METHODS: We conducted a secondary analysis of data from a German nationwide cross-sectional survey among patients with rheumatic and musculoskeletal disease (RMD). Bayesian univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were applied to the data to determine which factors were associated with TM try and TM wish. The predictor variables (covariates) studied individually included sociodemographic factors (eg, age and sex) and health characteristics (eg, disease type and health status). All the variables positively or negatively associated with TM try or TM wish in the univariate analyses were then considered for the Bayesian model averaging analysis after a selection based on the variance inflation factor (≤2.5). All the analyses were stratified by sex.
RESULTS: Of the total 102 variables, 59 (57.8%) and 45 (44.1%) variables were found to be positively or negatively associated (region of practical equivalence ≤5%) with TM try and TM wish, respectively. A total of 16 and 8 determinant factors were identified for TM try and TM wish, respectively. Wishing that TM services were offered by rheumatologists, having internet access at home, residing 5 to 10 km away from the general practitioner's office, owning an electronic device, and being aged 40 to 60 years were among the factors positively associated with TM try and TM wish. By contrast, not yet being diagnosed with an RMD, having no prior knowledge of TM, having a bad health status, living in a rural area, not documenting one's health status, not owning an electronic device, and being aged 60 to 80 years were negatively associated with TM try and TM wish.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that health status, knowledge, age, and access to technical equipment and infrastructure influence the motivation of patients with RMD to use telehealth services. In particular, older patients with RMD living in rural areas, who could likely benefit from using TM, are currently not motivated to use TM and seem to need additional TM support.
PMID:36705950 | DOI:10.2196/40912
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