The Community for Technology Leaders
eHealth, Telemedicine, and Social Medicine, International Conference on (2010)
St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles
Feb. 10, 2010 to Feb. 16, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-7695-3950-8
pp: 64-71
Objective Interactive Health Communication Applications (IHCAs) can make a valuable contribution to rheumatological care. The development of online health applications is moving quickly, and positive results have been shown. Yet solid research on use and acceptance of different information, communication and participation tools by patients is still lacking. In this qualitative study, we examined the health-related internet use of patients with rheumatic diseases, their motives for using or not using certain applications, and their needs and preferences with regard to a rheumatology IHCA. Method Semi-structured individual interviews were conducted with eighteen patients, who were selected from a hospital’s patient panel. Participants were diagnosed with eight different forms of rheumatism and their mean age was 50.7 years. The interviews were coded by two independent researchers. Results The applications most preferred by participants were: information provision on both medical and support topics, online communication with their doctor and insight in their personal health records. Patient support groups were less valued as were participation tools such as symptom monitoring and online exercise programs. Furthermore, a large discrepancy was shown between patients’ current use and their future preferences with respect to information about care and support, access to personal health records and having online contact with their doctor. Conclusion Patients see great value in an IHCA provided by their own hospital, since it could increase reliability, and would give them the confidence to use the application. The current study shows a significant discrepancy between current use and future preferences rheumatism patients have regarding online communication with their doctor, online symptom monitoring and insight in their personal health record. Overall a rheumatology IHCA should contain communication and participation tools, both linked to the hospital, and information about disease, care and practical support. Since this study focused on the communication with patients regarding a technological ehealth system which will include information, communication and participation, this paper is relevant on the conference topics eHealth systems and communcations, eHealth technology and devices and Telemedicine/ehealth applications.
IHCA, rheumatism, patients, preferences

C. H. Drossaert, E. Taal, M. A. Laar and R. v. Vaart, "Experiences and Preferences of Patients with Rheumatic Diseases Regarding an Interactive Health Communication Application," eHealth, Telemedicine, and Social Medicine, International Conference on(ETELEMED), St. Maarten, Netherlands Antilles, 2010, pp. 64-71.
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