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eHealth usage among parents to premature or surgically treated neonates: associations with eHealth literacy, healthcare satisfaction or satisfaction with an eHealth device

BMC Pediatr. 2023 Oct 21;23(1):524. doi: 10.1186/s12887-023-04340-3.


BACKGROUND: A specific eHealth device, a surf tablet, was developed for bridging between advanced in-hospital care and children’s homes. Since little is known about determinators for parental eHealth usage, the study’s aim was to explore if parents’ usage of the device was associated with their eHealth literacy, or their satisfaction with their child’s healthcare or with the specific surf tablet.

METHODS: In this explorative usage and questionnaire study, parents to neonates who were discharged home after advanced in-hospital care were included. Their surf tablet usage at maximum 30 days after discharge was reported as frequency (%) of active days (usage days/days having the device) and median number of tablet activities (chat and photo) per usage day. eHealth literacy (eHealth Literacy Questionnaire; eHLQ), healthcare satisfaction (PedsQL Healthcare Satisfaction Generic Module), and satisfaction with the surf tablet were explored regarding tablet usage. Statistics were described in median (range) and (%) using non-parametric and regression models (p < 0.05).

RESULTS: Parents to 32 children (11 premature, 21 operated) were included. Active days with eHealth communication using the device was 39% (9.0/29.5), with 2.0 (1.0-4.2) usage occasions per active day. Activity on the tablet was higher among parents reporting to be very satisfied or satisfied with the device (n = 25) compared with neutral/dissatisfied parents (n = 7) (2.8 vs. 2.2 vs. 1.6 activities) (p = 0.030), while their frequency of active days did not differ (31.6% vs. 38.3% vs. 40%) (p = 0.963). A higher eHealth literacy was not associated with frequency of active days (0.926 (0.652-1.317); p = 0.659) or number of eHealth activities (0.973 (0.758-1.250); p = 0.825). Healthcare satisfaction was not associated with higher frequency of active days 0.996 (0.983-1.009; p = 0.519); neither was number of eHealth activities 1.001 (0.991-1.011; p = 0.883).

CONCLUSION: In this study, eHealth usage was associated with parental satisfaction with the specific eHealth device, but not with eHealth literacy or healthcare satisfaction. To assure equal access to healthcare when using eHealth, the user-friendliness of the device seems to be crucial, and technical support needs to be in place.


PMID:37865736 | DOI:10.1186/s12887-023-04340-3

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