Use of an online self-management training for patients with atopic dermatitis or food allergy:a cross-sectional study
Wit, I.T.G. de
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Background For chronically ill patients, technological self-management systems could provide a practical method of monitoring their condition. For most eHealth interventions, participant attrition is a problem. Increasing the diffusion of eHealth requires a better understanding of factors that are related to usage of eHealth. Aim and research question The aim of this study was to explore use and influencing factors of two online self-management programs for patients with AD or FA. Research questions were: What is the usage of both programs and the main features within the program? Which demographic and disease-related factors are related to usage? Method This quantitative study consisted of two parts; a prospective cohort, and cross-sectional part, to measure usage and identify patient characteristics. Data were collected with a questionnaire composed of the heiQ (self-management), ISDL (disease severity), DLQI or FAQLQ – AF (quality of life) and usage log files. Results Forty percent of registered patients (n = 441) did not log in. Of patients who logged in, 56% used the training once. Furthermore heiQ domain 7; social integration and support, was related to use of both programs (AD (n=48): ρ = -.368, p = .012; FA (n = 43): ρ = -.380, p = .01), age is related in AD patients (ρ = .482, p = .001). Regression demonstrated age as predictive variable in AD training (B = .070, p = .003) and social integration and support for FA training (B = -2.173, p = 0.047). Conclusion This study demonstrated that 60% of all patients logged in, but over half of these patients used the program only once. Possible predictive variables of use were a higher age and lower social support. Recommendations Further research should focus on reasons for (non)-usage using qualitative methods to understand attrition and adherence.