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How Can eHealth Technology Address Challenges Related to Multimorbidity? Perspectives from Patients with Multiple Chronic Conditions.


ABSTRACT: Patient eHealth technology offers potential support for disease self-management, but the value of existing applications for patients with multiple chronic conditions (MCCs) is unclear.To understand self-management and health care navigation challenges that patients face due to MCCs and to identify opportunities to support these patients through new and enhanced eHealth technology.After administering a screening survey, we conducted 10 focus groups of 3-8 patients grouped by age, sex, and common chronic conditions. Patients discussed challenges associated with having MCCs and their use of (and desires from) technology to support self-management. Three investigators used standard content analysis methods to code the focus group transcripts. Emergent themes were reviewed with all collaborators, and final themes and representative quotes were validated with a sample of participants.Fifty-three individuals with??3 chronic conditions and experience using technology for health-related purposes.Focus group participants had an average of five chronic conditions. Participants reported using technology most frequently to search for health information (96%), communicate with health care providers (92%), track medical information (83%), track medications (77%), and support decision-making about treatment (55%). Three themes emerged to guide eHealth technology development: (1) Patients with MCCs manage a high volume of information, visits, and self-care tasks; (2) they need to coordinate, synthesize, and reconcile health information from multiple providers and about different conditions; (3) their unique position at the hub of multiple health issues requires self-advocacy and expertise. Focus groups identified desirable eHealth resources and tools that reflect these themes.Although patients with multiple health issues use eHealth technology to support self-care for specific conditions, they also desire tools that transcend disease boundaries. By addressing the holistic needs of patients with MCCs, eHealth technology can advance health care from a disease-centered to a patient-centered model.

SUBMITTER: Zulman DM 

PROVIDER: S-EPMC4510242 | BioStudies | 2015-01-01

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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