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Are people with chronic diseases interested in using telehealth? A cross-sectional postal survey

Are people with chronic diseases interested in using telehealth? A cross-sectional postal survey
Are people with chronic diseases interested in using telehealth? A cross-sectional postal survey
Background: there is growing interest in telehealth—the use of technology to support the remote delivery of health care and promote self-management—as a potential alternative to face-to-face care for patients with chronic diseases. However, little is known about what precipitates interest in the use of telehealth among these patients.
Objective: This survey forms part of a research program to develop and evaluate a telehealth intervention for patients with two exemplar chronic diseases: depression and raised cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. The survey was designed to explore the key factors that influence interest in using telehealth in these patient groups.

Methods: thirty-four general practices were recruited from two different regions within England. Practice records were searched for patients with (1) depression (aged 18+ years) or (2) 10-year risk of CVD ?20% and at least one modifiable risk factor (aged 40-74 years). Within each general practice, 54 patients in each chronic disease group were randomly selected to receive a postal questionnaire. Questions assessed five key constructs: sociodemographics, health needs, difficulties accessing health care, technology-related factors (availability, confidence using technology, perceived benefits and drawbacks of telehealth), and satisfaction with prior use of telehealth. Respondents also rated their interest in using different technologies for telehealth (phone, email and Internet, or social media). Relationships between the key constructs and interest in using the three mediums of telehealth were examined using multivariable regression models.

Results: of the 3329 patients who were sent a study questionnaire, 44.40% completed it (872/1740, 50.11% CVD risk; 606/1589, 38.14% depression). Overall, there was moderate interest in using phone-based (854/1423, 60.01%) and email/Internet-based (816/1425, 57.26%) telehealth, but very little interest in social media (243/1430, 16.99%). After adjusting for health needs, access difficulties, technology-related factors, and prior use of telehealth, interest in telehealth had largely no association with sociodemographic variables. For both patient groups and for each of the three technology mediums, the most important constructs related to interest in telehealth were having the confidence to use the associated technology, as well as perceiving greater advantages and fewer disadvantages from using telehealth. To illustrate, greater confidence using phone technologies (b=.16, 95% CI 0.002-0.33), while also perceiving more benefits (b=.31, 95% CI 0.21-0.40) and fewer drawbacks (b=-.23, 95% CI -0.28 to -0.17) to using telehealth were associated with more interest in using phone-based telehealth technologies for patients with depression.

Conclusions: there is widespread interest in using phone-based and email/Internet-based telehealth among patients with chronic diseases, regardless of their health status, access difficulties, age, or many other sociodemographic factors. This interest could be increased by helping patients gain confidence using technologies and through highlighting benefits and addressing concerns about telehealth. While the same pattern exists for social media telehealth, interest in using these technologies is minimal
1438-8871
e123
Edwards, Louisa
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Thomas, Clare
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Gregory, Alison
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Yardley, Lucy
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O'Cathain, Alicia
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Montgomery, Alan A.
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Salisbury, Chris
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Edwards, Louisa
a40e5b87-fc38-42db-9b59-bc00c5d64271
Thomas, Clare
e19a162f-a388-4df2-9a37-910406714cd3
Gregory, Alison
8af55bd3-af52-45b3-b6e6-79e5ae9516b3
Yardley, Lucy
64be42c4-511d-484d-abaa-f8813452a22e
O'Cathain, Alicia
2fa113fb-2028-4cfb-84e2-2c2fdacce907
Montgomery, Alan A.
e77da73e-70cc-4d5c-acc2-05e3b6ab31c1
Salisbury, Chris
50e9a5a0-c074-4af8-9b1b-e1e8408aae3c

Edwards, Louisa, Thomas, Clare, Gregory, Alison, Yardley, Lucy, O'Cathain, Alicia, Montgomery, Alan A. and Salisbury, Chris (2014) Are people with chronic diseases interested in using telehealth? A cross-sectional postal survey. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 16 (5), e123. (doi:10.2196/jmir.3257).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Background: there is growing interest in telehealth—the use of technology to support the remote delivery of health care and promote self-management—as a potential alternative to face-to-face care for patients with chronic diseases. However, little is known about what precipitates interest in the use of telehealth among these patients.
Objective: This survey forms part of a research program to develop and evaluate a telehealth intervention for patients with two exemplar chronic diseases: depression and raised cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk. The survey was designed to explore the key factors that influence interest in using telehealth in these patient groups.

Methods: thirty-four general practices were recruited from two different regions within England. Practice records were searched for patients with (1) depression (aged 18+ years) or (2) 10-year risk of CVD ?20% and at least one modifiable risk factor (aged 40-74 years). Within each general practice, 54 patients in each chronic disease group were randomly selected to receive a postal questionnaire. Questions assessed five key constructs: sociodemographics, health needs, difficulties accessing health care, technology-related factors (availability, confidence using technology, perceived benefits and drawbacks of telehealth), and satisfaction with prior use of telehealth. Respondents also rated their interest in using different technologies for telehealth (phone, email and Internet, or social media). Relationships between the key constructs and interest in using the three mediums of telehealth were examined using multivariable regression models.

Results: of the 3329 patients who were sent a study questionnaire, 44.40% completed it (872/1740, 50.11% CVD risk; 606/1589, 38.14% depression). Overall, there was moderate interest in using phone-based (854/1423, 60.01%) and email/Internet-based (816/1425, 57.26%) telehealth, but very little interest in social media (243/1430, 16.99%). After adjusting for health needs, access difficulties, technology-related factors, and prior use of telehealth, interest in telehealth had largely no association with sociodemographic variables. For both patient groups and for each of the three technology mediums, the most important constructs related to interest in telehealth were having the confidence to use the associated technology, as well as perceiving greater advantages and fewer disadvantages from using telehealth. To illustrate, greater confidence using phone technologies (b=.16, 95% CI 0.002-0.33), while also perceiving more benefits (b=.31, 95% CI 0.21-0.40) and fewer drawbacks (b=-.23, 95% CI -0.28 to -0.17) to using telehealth were associated with more interest in using phone-based telehealth technologies for patients with depression.

Conclusions: there is widespread interest in using phone-based and email/Internet-based telehealth among patients with chronic diseases, regardless of their health status, access difficulties, age, or many other sociodemographic factors. This interest could be increased by helping patients gain confidence using technologies and through highlighting benefits and addressing concerns about telehealth. While the same pattern exists for social media telehealth, interest in using these technologies is minimal

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Accepted/In Press date: 28 April 2014
Published date: 8 May 2014
Organisations: Psychology

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Local EPrints ID: 379990
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/379990
ISSN: 1438-8871
PURE UUID: 1761dd84-8bfc-4b64-a317-271a81b72730
ORCID for Lucy Yardley: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-3853-883X

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Date deposited: 28 Aug 2015 07:57
Last modified: 31 Jul 2019 00:48

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Contributors

Author: Louisa Edwards
Author: Clare Thomas
Author: Alison Gregory
Author: Lucy Yardley ORCID iD
Author: Alicia O'Cathain
Author: Alan A. Montgomery
Author: Chris Salisbury

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