eHealth literacy 2.0 of patients with rheumatic diseases

Heus, M. de (2012) eHealth literacy 2.0 of patients with rheumatic diseases.

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Abstract:Background : Health 2.0 offers various opportunities to facilitate self-management of patients with a rheumatic disease. However, a sufficient level of eHealth literacy is necessary to be able to take full advantage of the possibilities. Previous research focused on skills necessary for the use of Health 1.0. Insight in skills related to the use of Health 2.0 is still lacking. Objective : The aim of this study is to provide insight into the level of eHealth literacy of patients with rheumatic diseases and the problems they experience when using Health 2.0. Methods : A scenario-based performance test was conducted by 16 patients with rheumatic diseases. The test consisted of ten tasks with five applications in a patient portal, a patient support discussion board and a health care rating website. Participants were asked to think aloud and screen activity was recorded. The participants were interviewed after completing their tasks. Completion, performance, required time and encountered problems were measured and coded by two independent researchers. All actions and problems of patients were coded and categorized bottom-up in main and sub categories. Results : Most patients could complete more than half of the tasks; however many participants possessed insufficient skills to take full advantage of all possibilities of Health 2.0. A large diversity in eHealth literacy skills was observed. However, all patients encountered multiple problems in the following categories of skills: operating the computer and Internet, orienting and navigating on the web, searching for health information and applications and evaluating relevance and reliability. Additionally, two new categories, essential for Health 2.0, were included: adding personal health content and protecting privacy. Conclusions : Although Health 2.0 is promising for self-management, a number of patients with rheumatic diseases is not able to take full advantage of Health 2.0. Instruction and guidance are essential to optimize the use of Health 2.0 applications. These instructions could be given in a course or in the applications themselves and should focus on evaluating relevance and reliability, adding personal health content and protecting privacy. The results of this study may help to extend existing eHealth literacy scales to be able to measure the level of eHealth literacy for the use of Health 2.0. The results also provide directions for future research about predictors of eHealth literacy.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/62295
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