[An exploratory cross-sectional study on technical affinity and smartphone use among practice staff and patients: development of an app for multimorbid patients in general practice]
SourceZeitschrift Fur Evidenz, Fortbildung und Qualitat im Gesundheitswesen, 169, (2022), pp. 39-47
Article / Letter to editor
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Zeitschrift Fur Evidenz, Fortbildung und Qualitat im Gesundheitswesen
SubjectRadboudumc 16: Vascular damage RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
INTRODUCTION: Due to individual care needs, the provision of care to patients with two or more chronic diseases (multimorbidity) is described as complex. In addition, the number of chronically ill people is increasing, due in part to demographic changes which pose a challenge, especially for outpatient primary care. In order to fulfil patients' needs and to promote self-management as a central care element of chronically ill patients, the use of eHealth applications increases. TelePraCMan will be developed as one of these applications and includes a symptom-based electronic diary, which will be implemented in the established German disease management programme 'PraCMan'. This study is conducted as a part of the TelePraCMan project and aims to detect the needs of potential end users (physicians, medical assistants, patients). METHODS: In the TelePraCMan development phase, an explorative cross-sectional study was conducted with potential end users of the TelePraCMan app (patients, physicians and medical assistants). For this purpose, a written survey was conducted in Baden-Wurttemberg between April 2019 and March 2020. The survey covered smartphone usage behaviour, technology affinity using the standardised questionnaire TA-EG, support network for technical questions and sociodemographic data. RESULTS: A total of n=202 patients (n=98), physicians (n=58) and medical assistants (n=43) participated in the survey. Concerning smartphone use, 78.2 % of the participants stated that the function used most frequently was writing short messages. Health apps were the least used function (9.6 %). Furthermore, patients (12.6 %) use health apps more often than medical assistants (10.3%) and doctors (4.4 %). Participants aged 50 and younger were found to have a higher affinity for technology (mean=3.20, SD=0.51) than participants over 50 years of age (mean=2.98, SD=0.67). Older, multimorbid respondents had a particularly low affinity for technology (mean=2.52, SD=0.69). 10.9 % of the over-fifties and 12.5 % of the multimorbid persons felt able to fix any technical problems on their own without help. Multimorbid participants over the age of 50 were observed to prefer personal support over internet-based support. DISCUSSION: On average, multimorbid respondents in the age group over 50 have a lower affinity for technology than respondents aged under 50 without multimorbidity. The most frequent negative attitude towards electronic devices is also found among patients over 50 years of age, who are expected to be the main target group of the TelePraCMan app. These findings can be used to derive requirements for the design and development of functions of the app, as well as accompanying measures, such as intuitive and simple user interface, a telephone hotline to support users, close consultation with users on the planned functions, and more. CONCLUSION: Based on this survey, we were able to determine the needs of the future target group of the TelePraCMan app. This is seen as a starting point for the development of an implementation strategy and the pilot testing of the app in primary care.
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