The Association Between Commonly Investigated User Factors and Various Types of eHealth Use for Self-Care of Type 2 Diabetes: Case of First-Generation Immigrants From Pakistan in the Oslo Area, Norway.
ABSTRACT: Sociodemographic and health-related factors are often investigated for their association with the active use of electronic health (eHealth). The importance of such factors has been found to vary, depending on the purpose or means of eHealth and the target user groups. Pakistanis are one of the biggest immigrant groups in the Oslo area, Norway. Due to an especially high risk of developing type 2 diabetes (T2D) among this population, knowledge about their use of eHealth for T2D self-management and prevention (self-care) will be valuable for both understanding this vulnerable group and for developing effective eHealth services.The aim of this study was to examine how commonly were the nine types of eHealth for T2D self-care being used among our target group, the first-generation Pakistani immigrants living in the Oslo area. The nine types of eHealth use are divided into three broad categories based on their purpose: information seeking, communication, and active self-care. We also aimed to investigate how sociodemographic factors, as well as self-assessment of health status and digital skills are associated with the use of eHealth in this group.A survey was carried out in the form of individual structured interviews from September 2015 to January 2016 (N=176). For this study, dichotomous data about whether or not an informant had used each of the nine types of eHealth in the last 12 months and the total number of positive answers were used as dependent variables in a regression analysis. The independent variables were age, gender, total years of education, digital skills (represented by frequency of asking for help when using information and communication technology [ICT]), and self-assessment of health status. Principal component analyses were applied to make categories of independent variables to avoid multicollinearity.Principal component analysis yielded three components: knowledge, comprising total years of education and digital skills; health, comprising age and self-assessment of health status; and gender, as being a female. With the exception of closed conversation with a few specific acquaintances about self-care of T2D (negatively associated, P=.02) and the use of ICT for relevant information-seeking by using search engines (not associated, P=.18), the knowledge component was positively associated with all the other dependent variables. The health component was negatively associated with the use of ICT for closed conversation with a few specific acquaintances about self-care of T2D (P=.01) but not associated with the other dependent variables. Gender component showed no association with any of the dependent variables.In our sample, knowledge, as a composite measure of education and digital skills, was found to be the main factor associated with eHealth use regarding T2D self-care. Enhancing digital skills would encourage and support more active use of eHealth for T2D self-care.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Digital health services are increasing rapidly worldwide. Strategies to involve patients in self-monitoring of type 2 diabetes (T2D) on a daily basis is of crucial importance, and there is a need to optimize the delivery of care such as self-management support. Digitalized solutions have the potential to modify and personalize the way in which people use primary health services, both by increasing access to information and providing other forms of support at a distance. It is a challenge to integrate core values of person-centered care into digitalized health care services. OBJECTIVE:The objective of this study was to describe perceptions of using electronic health (eHealth) services and related technologies for self-management support among people with T2D treated in Swedish primary health care. METHODS:This is a qualitative study based on interviews analyzed using qualitative content analysis conducted among people diagnosed with T2D. RESULTS:Findings suggest that the participants had mixed feelings regarding the use of digital health services for self-management support. They experienced potentials such as increased involvement, empowerment, and security, as well as concerns such as ambivalence and uncertainty. CONCLUSIONS:Digital health services for self-management are easily accessible and have the potential to reach a wide population. However, targeted training to increase digital skills is required, and personalized devices must be adapted and become more person-centered to improve patients' involvement in their own care.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Digital health technologies hold promise to enhance patient-related outcomes, to support health care staff by reducing their workload, and to improve the coordination of care. As key users of digital health technologies, health care workers are crucial to enable a meaningful digital transformation of health care. Digital health literacy and digital skills should become prerequisite competencies for health professionals to facilitate the implementation and leverage the potential of digital technologies to improve health. OBJECTIVE:We aimed to assess European medical students' perceived knowledge and opinions toward digital health, the status of digital health implementation in medical education, and the students' most pressing needs. METHODS:The explanatory design of our mixed methods study was based on an online, anonymous, self-administered survey targeted toward European medical students. A linear regression analysis was used to identify the influence of the year of medical studies on the responses. Additional analysis was performed by grouping the responses by the self-evaluated frequency of eHealth technology use. Written responses to four qualitative questions in the survey were analyzed using an inductive approach. RESULTS:The survey received a total of 451 responses from 39 European countries, and there were respondents for every year of medical studies. The majority of respondents saw advantages in the use of digital health. While 40.6% (183/451) felt prepared to work in a digitized health care system, more than half (240/451, 53.2%) evaluated their eHealth skills as poor or very poor. Medical students considered lack of education to be the reason for this, with 84.9% (383/451) agreeing or strongly agreeing that more digital health education should be implemented in the medical curriculum. Students demanded introductory and specific eHealth courses covering data management, ethical aspects, legal frameworks, research and entrepreneurial opportunities, role in public health and health systems, communication skills, and practical training. The emphasis lay on tailoring learning to future job requirements and interprofessional education. CONCLUSIONS:This study shows a lack of digital health-related formats in medical education and a perceived lack of digital health literacy among European medical students. Our findings indicate a gap between the willingness of medical students to take an active role by becoming key players in the digital transformation of health care and the education that they receive through their faculties.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Electronic health (eHealth) literacy of consumers is essential in order to improve information and communication technology (ICT) use for health purposes by ordinary citizens. However, performed eHealth literacy is seldom studied. Therefore, the present study assessed perceived and performed eHealth literacy using the recent conceptualization of health literacy skills. OBJECTIVE:The aim of this paper was to examine the association between perceived and performed eHealth literacies. METHODS:In total, 82 Israeli adults participated in the study, all 50 years and older, with a mean age of 67 (SD 11). Of the participants, 60% (49/82) were women and 72% (59/82) had a post-secondary education. The participants were first surveyed and then tested in a computer simulation of health-related Internet tasks. Performed, perceived (eHealth Literacy Scale, eHEALS), and evaluated eHealth literacy were assessed, and performed eHealth literacy was also recorded and re-evaluated later. Performance was scored for successful completion of tasks, and was also assessed by two researchers for motivation, confidence, and amount of help provided. RESULTS:The skills of accessing, understanding, appraising, applying, and generating new information had decreasing successful completion rates. Generating new information was least correlated with other skills. Perceived and performed eHealth literacies were moderately correlated (r=.34, P=.01) while facets of performance (ie, digital literacy and eHealth literacy) were highly correlated (r=.82, P<.001). Participants low and high in performed eHealth literacy were significantly different: low performers were older and had used the Internet for less time, required more assistance, and were less confident in their conduct than high performers. CONCLUSIONS:The moderate association between perceived and performed eHealth literacy indicates that the latter should be assessed separately. In as much, the assessment of performed eHealth literacy in clinical settings should entail the structuring of tasks as well as shortening and automatizing the assessment.
Project description:BACKGROUND:With the digitization of health care and the wide availability of Web-based applications, a broad set of skills is essential to properly use such facilities; these skills are called digital health literacy or eHealth literacy. Current instruments to measure digital health literacy focus only on information gathering (Health 1.0 skills) and do not pay attention to interactivity on the Web (Health 2.0). To measure the complete spectrum of Health 1.0 and Health 2.0 skills, including actual competencies, we developed a new instrument. The Digital Health Literacy Instrument (DHLI) measures operational skills, navigation skills, information searching, evaluating reliability, determining relevance, adding self-generated content, and protecting privacy. OBJECTIVE:Our objective was to study the distributional properties, reliability, content validity, and construct validity of the DHLI's self-report scale (21 items) and to explore the feasibility of an additional set of performance-based items (7 items). METHODS:We used a paper-and-pencil survey among a sample of the general Dutch population, stratified by age, sex, and educational level (T1; N=200). The survey consisted of the DHLI, sociodemographics, Internet use, health status, health literacy and the eHealth Literacy Scale (eHEALS). After 2 weeks, we asked participants to complete the DHLI again (T2; n=67). Cronbach alpha and intraclass correlation analysis between T1 and T2 were used to investigate reliability. Principal component analysis was performed to determine content validity. Correlation analyses were used to determine the construct validity. RESULTS:Respondents (107 female and 93 male) ranged in age from 18 to 84 years (mean 46.4, SD 19.0); 23.0% (46/200) had a lower educational level. Internal consistencies of the total scale (alpha=.87) and the subscales (alpha range .70-.89) were satisfactory, except for protecting privacy (alpha=.57). Distributional properties showed an approximately normal distribution. Test-retest analysis was satisfactory overall (total scale intraclass correlation coefficient=.77; subscale intraclass correlation coefficient range .49-.81). The performance-based items did not together form a single construct (alpha=.47) and should be interpreted individually. Results showed that more complex skills were reflected in a lower number of correct responses. Principal component analysis confirmed the theoretical structure of the self-report scale (76% explained variance). Correlations were as expected, showing significant relations with age (?=-.41, P<.001), education (?=.14, P=.047), Internet use (?=.39, P<.001), health-related Internet use (?=.27, P<.001), health status (? range .17-.27, P<.001), health literacy (?=.31, P<.001), and the eHEALS (?=.51, P<.001). CONCLUSIONS:This instrument can be accepted as a new self-report measure to assess digital health literacy, using multiple subscales. Its performance-based items provide an indication of actual skills but should be studied and adapted further. Future research should examine the acceptability of this instrument in other languages and among different populations.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Digitalization is a disruptive technology that changes the way we deliver diagnostic procedures and treatments in medicine. Different stakeholders have varying interests in and expectations of the digitalization of modern medicine. Many recent digital advances in the medical field, such as the implementation of electronic health records, telemedical services, and mobile health apps, are increasingly used by medical professionals and patients. During the current pandemic outbreak of a novel coronavirus-caused respiratory disease (COVID-19), many modern information and communication technologies (ICT) have been used to overcome the physical barriers and limitations caused by government-issued curfews and workforce shortages. Therefore, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a surge in the usage of modern ICT in medicine. At the same time, the eHealth literacy of physicians working with these technologies has probably not improved since our study. OBJECTIVE:This paper describes a representative cohort of German physicians before the COVID-19 pandemic and their eHealth literacy and attitude towards modern ICT. METHODS:A structured, self-developed questionnaire about user behavior and attitudes towards eHealth applications was administered to a representative cohort of 93 German physicians. RESULTS:Of the 93 German physicians who participated in the study, 97% (90/93) use a mobile phone. Medical apps are used by 42% (39/93). Half of the surveyed physicians (47/93, 50%) use their private mobile phones for official purposes on a daily basis. Telemedicine is part of the daily routine for more than one-third (31/93, 33%) of all participants. More than 80% (76/93, 82%) of the trial participants state that their knowledge regarding the legal aspects and data safety of medical apps and cloud computing is insufficient. CONCLUSIONS:Modern ICT is frequently used and mostly welcomed by German physicians. However, there is a tremendous lack of eHealth literacy and knowledge about the safe and secure implementation of these technologies in routine clinical practice.
Project description:BACKGROUND: One estimate suggests that by 2010 more than 30% of a physician's time will be spent using information technology tools. The aim of this study is to assess the information and communication technologies (ICT) skills of medical students in Tanzania. We also report a pilot intervention of peer mentoring training in ICT by medical students from the UK tutoring students in Tanzania. METHODS: DESIGN: Cross sectional study and pilot intervention study. PARTICIPANTS: Fourth year medical students (n = 92) attending Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Self-reported assessment of competence on ICT-related topics and ability to perform specific ICT tasks. Further information related to frequency of computer use (hours per week), years of computer use, reasons for use and access to computers. Skills at specific tasks were reassessed for 12 students following 4 to 6 hours of peer mentoring training. RESULTS: The highest levels of competence in generic ICT areas were for email, Internet and file management. For other skills such as word processing most respondents reported low levels of competence. The abilities to perform specific ICT skills were low - less than 60% of the participants were able to perform the core specific skills assessed. A period of approximately 5 hours of peer mentoring training produced an approximate doubling of competence scores for these skills. CONCLUSION: Our study has found a low level of ability to use ICT facilities among medical students in a leading university in sub-Saharan Africa. A pilot scheme utilising UK elective students to tutor basic skills showed potential. Attention is required to develop interventions that can improve ICT skills, as well as computer access, in order to bridge the digital divide.
Project description:BACKGROUND:The prevalence of diabetes and the use of electronic health (eHealth) are increasing. People with diabetes need frequent monitoring and follow-up of health parameters, and eHealth services can be highly valuable. However, little is known about the use of eHealth in different socioeconomic groups among people with diabetes. OBJECTIVE:The aim of this study was to investigate the use of 4 different eHealth platforms (apps, search engines, video services, and social media sites) and the association with socioeconomic status (SES) among people diagnosed with type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus (T1D and T2D, respectively). METHODS:We used email survey data from 1250 members of the Norwegian Diabetes Association (aged 18-89 years), collected in 2018. Eligible for analyses were the 1063 respondents having T1D (n=523) and T2D (n=545). 5 respondents reported having both diabetes types and thus entered into both groups. Using descriptive statistics, we estimated the use of the different types of eHealth. By logistic regressions, we studied the associations between the use of these types of eHealth and SES (education and household income), adjusted for gender, age, and self-rated health. RESULTS:We found that 87.0% (447/514) of people with T1D and 77.7% (421/542) of people with T2D had used 1 or more forms of eHealth sometimes or often during the previous year. The proportion of people using search engines was the largest in both diagnostic groups, followed by apps, social media, and video services. We found a strong association between a high level of education and the use of search engines, whereas there were no educational differences for the use of apps, social media, or video services. In both diagnostic groups, high income was associated with the use of apps. In people with T1D, lower income was associated with the use of video services. CONCLUSIONS:This paper indicates a digital divide among people with diabetes in Norway, with consequences that may contribute to sustaining and shaping inequalities in health outcomes. The strong relationship between higher education and the use of search engines, along with the finding that the use of apps, social media, and video services was not associated with education, indicates that adequate communication strategies for audiences with varying education levels should be a focus in future efforts to reduce inequalities in health outcomes.
Project description:BACKGROUND:US health care providers are increasingly demanding patient engagement with digital health technologies to enroll in care, access personal health information, communicate with providers, and monitor their own health. Such engagement may be difficult for disadvantaged populations who may have limited health literacy, time constraints, or competing priorities. OBJECTIVE:We aimed to understand the extent of adoption and use of digital health tools and to identify key perceived psychological motivators of technology use among disadvantaged first-time pregnant women and mothers of young children. METHODS:We recruited women from health organizations serving low-income communities in the Midwest and on the East and West coasts. A total of 92 women participated in 14 focus groups. During each session, we administered worksheets that measured 3 utilization outcomes: the number of recent Web-based health-seeking activities, current use of digital health-management practices (eg, accessing personal health information, communicating with providers, and scheduling appointments), and potential adoption of digital health-management tools among low users or nonusers. Responses to the worksheets and to a pre-focus group survey on demographics, technology access, and motivators of use were examined to create user profiles. Separate regression models identified the motivators (eHealth literacy, internal health orientation, and trust in digital information) associated with these outcomes. Qualitative data were incorporated to illustrate the worksheet responses. RESULTS:Whereas 97% of the participants reported that they had searched for health information on the Internet in the past year, 42% did not engage in digital health-management practices. Among the low users and nonusers, 49% expressed interest in future adoption of digital health tools. Web-based health information-seeking activities were associated with digital health-management practices (P<.001). When controlling for covariates, eHealth literacy was positively correlated with the number of Web-based health-seeking activities (beta=.03, 95% CI 0.00-0.07). However, an internal health orientation was a much stronger correlate of digital health-management practices (beta=.13, 95% CI 0.02-0.24), whereas trust in digital information increased the odds of potential adoption (vs no adoption) in adjusted models (OR 5.21, 95% CI 0.84-32.53). Demographic characteristics were not important drivers of digital health use and few differences distinguished use among mothers and pregnant women. CONCLUSIONS:Seeking health information on the Internet may be an important gateway toward engaging in digital health-management practices. Notably, different consumer motivators influence digital health tool use. The relative contributions of each must be explored to design tools and interventions that enhance competencies for the management of self and child health among disadvantaged mothers and pregnant women. Unless we address disparities in digital health tool use, benefits from their use will accrue predominantly to individuals with the resources and skills to use technology effectively.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Information technologies (IT) are increasingly implemented in type 2 diabetes (T2D) treatment as a resource for remotely supported health care. However, possible pitfalls of introducing IT in health care are generally overlooked. Specifically, the effectiveness of IT to improve health care may depend on the user's readiness for health technology. OBJECTIVE:We aim to investigate readiness for health technology in relation to mental well-being, sociodemographic, and disease-related characteristics among individuals with T2D. METHODS:Individuals with T2D (aged ?18 years) who had been referred to self-management education, exercise, diet counseling, smoking cessation, or alcohol counseling completed a questionnaire survey covering (1) background information, (2) the 5-item World Health Organization Well-Being Index (WHO-5), (3) receptiveness to IT use in physical activity, and (4) the Readiness and Enablement Index for Health Technology (READHY), constituted by dimensions related to self-management, social support, and eHealth literacy. Individuals were divided into profiles using cluster analysis based on their READHY scores. Outcomes included differences across profiles in mental well-being, sociodemographic, and disease-related characteristics. RESULTS:Participants in the study were 155 individuals with T2D with a mean age of 60.2 (SD 10.7) years, 55.5% (86/155) of which were men and 44.5% (69/155) of which were women. Participants were stratified into 5 health technology readiness profiles based on the cluster analysis: Profile 1, high health technology readiness; Profile 2, medium health technology readiness; Profile 3, medium health technology readiness and high level of emotional distress; Profile 4, medium health technology readiness and low-to-medium eHealth literacy; Profile 5, low health technology readiness. No differences in sociodemographic and disease-related characteristics were observed across profiles; however, we identified 3 vulnerable subgroups of individuals: Profile 3 (21/155, 13.5%), younger individuals (mean age of 53.4 years, SD 8.9 years) with low mental well-being (mean 42.7, SD 14.7) and emotional distress (mean 1.69, SD 0.38); Profile 4 (20/155, 12.9%), older individuals (mean age 66.3 years, SD 9.0 years) with less IT use (50.0% used IT for communication) and low-to-medium eHealth literacy; and Profile 5 (36/155, 23.2%) with low mental well-being (mean 43.4, SD 20.1) and low readiness for health technology. CONCLUSIONS:Implementation of IT in health care of individuals with T2D should be based on comprehensive consideration of mental well-being, emotional distress, and readiness for health technology rather than sociodemographic and disease-related characteristics to identify the individuals in need of social support, self-management education, and extensive IT support. A one-size-fits-all approach to IT implementation in health care will potentially increase the risk of treatment failure among the most vulnerable individuals.
Project description:Background: The burden of mental, neurological, and substance (MNS) disorders is greater in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The rapid growth of digital health (i.e., eHealth) approaches offer new solutions for transforming pediatric mental health services and have the potential to address multiple resource and system barriers. However, little work has been done in applying eHealth to promote young children's mental health in LMICs. It is also not clear how eHealth has been and might be applied to translating existing evidence-based practices/strategies (EBPs) to enable broader access to child mental health interventions and services. Methods: A scoping review was conducted to summarize current eHealth applications and evidence in child mental health. The review focuses on 1) providing an overview of existing eHealth applications, research methods, and effectiveness evidence in child mental health promotion (focused on children of 0-12 years of age) across diverse service contexts; and 2) drawing lessons learned from the existing research about eHealth design strategies and usability data in order to inform future eHealth design in LMICs. Results: Thirty-two (32) articles fitting our inclusion criteria were reviewed. The child mental health eHealth studies were grouped into three areas: i) eHealth interventions targeting families that promote child and family wellbeing; ii) eHealth for improving school mental health services (e.g., promote school staff's knowledge and management skills); and iii) eHealth for improving behavioral health care in the pediatric care system (e.g., promote use of integrated patient-portal and electronic decision support systems). Most eHealth studies have reported positive impacts. Although most pediatric eHealth studies were conducted in high-income countries, many eHealth design strategies can be adapted and modified to fit LMIC contexts. Most user-engagement strategies identified from high-income countries are also relevant for populations in LMICs. Conclusions: This review synthesizes patterns of eHealth use across a spectrum of individual/family and system level of eHealth interventions that can be applied to promote child mental health and strengthen mental health service systems. This review also summarizes critical lessons to guide future eHealth design and delivery models in LMICs. However, more research in testing combinations of eHealth strategies in LMICs is needed.