Older patients' enthusiasm to use electronic mail to communicate with their physicians: cross-sectional survey.
ABSTRACT Recent evidence indicates increased access to and use of Internet and non-healthcare-related email by older patients. Because email adoption could potentially reduce some of the disparities faced by this age group, there is a need to understand factors determining older patients' enthusiasm to use email to communicate with their physicians. Electronic mail (email) represents a means of communication that, coupled with face-to-face communication, could enhance quality of care for older patients.
Test a model to determine factors associated with older patients' enthusiasm to use email to communicate with their physicians.
We conducted a secondary data analysis of survey data collected in 2003 for two large, longitudinal, randomized controlled trials. Logistic-regression models were used to model the dichotomous outcome of patient enthusiasm for using email to communicate with their physicians. Explanatory variables included demographic characteristics, health status, use of email with people other than their physician, characteristics of the physician-patient relationship, and physician enthusiasm to use email with patients.
Participants included a pooled sample of 4059 patients over 65 years of age and their respective physicians (n = 181) from community-based practices in Southern California. Although only 52 (1.3%) patient respondents reported that they communicated with their physician by email, about half (49.3%) expressed enthusiasm about the possibility of using it. Odds of being enthusiastic decreased with increased age (by 0.97 for each year over 66) but were significantly higher in African Americans (OR = 2.1, CI = 1.42 - 3.06), Hispanics (OR = 1.6, CI = 1.26 - 2.14) and men (OR = 1.3, CI = 1.1 - 1.5). A perception of better communication skills of their physician, lower quality of interaction with physician in traditional face-to-face encounters, and physician enthusiasm to use email with patients were significantly associated with an enthusiasm to use email. Patients who did not use email at all were less enthusiastic compared to those who used email for other reasons. Half of the physician respondents were not enthusiastic about communicating with patients using email.
Despite perceived barriers such as limited access to the Internet, older patients seem to want to use email to communicate with their physicians.
SourceAvailable from: Elin Børøsund[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: While Web-based interventions have been shown to assist a wide range of patients successfully in managing their illness, few studies have examined the relative contribution of different Web-based components to improve outcomes. Further efficacy trials are needed to test the effects of Web support when offered as a part of routine care. Our aim was to compare in regular care the effects of (1) an Internet-based patient provider communication service (IPPC), (2) WebChoice, a Web-based illness management system for breast cancer patients (IPPC included), and (3) usual care on symptom distress, anxiety, depression, (primary outcomes), and self-efficacy (secondary outcome). This study reports preliminary findings from 6 months' follow-up data in a 12-month trial. We recruited 167 patients recently diagnosed with breast cancer and undergoing treatment from three Norwegian hospitals. The nurse-administered IPPC allowed patients to send secure e-messages to and receive e-messages from health care personnel at the hospital where they were treated. In addition to the IPPC, WebChoice contains components for symptom monitoring, tailored information and self-management support, a diary, and communication with other patients. A total of 20 care providers (11 nurses, 6 physicians, and 3 social workers) were trained to answer questions from patients. Outcomes were measured with questionnaires at study entry and at study months 2, 4, and 6. Linear mixed models for repeated measures were fitted to compare effects on outcomes over time. Patients were randomly assigned to the WebChoice group (n=64), the IPPC group (n=45), or the usual care group (n=58). Response rates to questionnaires were 73.7% (123/167) at 2 months, 65.9 (110/167) at 4 months, and 62.3% (104/167) at 6 months. Attrition was similar in all study groups. Among those with access to WebChoice, 64% (41/64) logged on more than once and 39% (25/64) sent e-messages to care providers. In the IPPC group, 40% (18/45) sent e-messages. Linear mixed models analyses revealed that the WebChoice group reported significantly lower symptom distress (mean difference 0.16, 95% CI 0.06-0.25, P=.001), anxiety (mean difference 0.79, 95% CI 0.09-1.49, P=.03), and depression (mean difference 0.79, 95% CI 0.09-1.49, P=.03) compared with the usual care group. The IPPC group reported significant lower depression scores compared with the usual care group (mean difference 0.69, 95% CI 0.05-1.32, P=.03), but no differences were observed for symptom distress or anxiety. No significant differences in self-efficacy were found among the study groups. In spite of practice variations and moderate use of the interventions, our results suggest that offering Web support as part of regular care can be a powerful tool to help patients manage their illness. Our finding that a nurse-administered IPPC alone can significantly reduce depression is particularly promising. However, the multicomponent intervention WebChoice had additional positive effects. Clinicaltrials.gov:NCT00971009; http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT00971009 (Archived by WebCite at http://www.webcitation.org/6USKezP0Y).Journal of Medical Internet Research 01/2014; 16(12):e295. DOI:10.2196/jmir.3348 · 4.67 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To determine physician perspectives about direct notification of normal and abnormal test results. We conducted a cross-sectional survey at five clinical sites in the US and Australia. The US-based study was conducted via web-based survey of primary care physicians and specialists between July and October 2012. An identical paper-based survey was self-administered between June and September 2012 with specialists in Australia. Of 1417 physicians invited, 315 (22.2%) completed the survey. Two-thirds (65.3%) believed that patients should be directly notified of normal results, but only 21.3% were comfortable with direct notification of clinically significant abnormal results. Physicians were more likely to endorse direct notification of abnormal results if they believed it would reduce the number of patients lost to follow-up (OR=4.98, 95%CI=2.21-1.21) or if they had personally missed an abnormal test result (OR=2.95, 95%CI=1.44-6.02). Conversely, physicians were less likely to endorse if they believed that direct notification interfered with the practice of medicine (OR=0.39, 95%CI=0.20-0.74). Physicians we surveyed generally favor direct notification of normal results but appear to have substantial concerns about direct notification of abnormal results. Widespread use of direct notification should be accompanied by strategies to help patients manage test result abnormalities they receive. Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.Patient Education and Counseling 02/2015; 167(6). DOI:10.1016/j.pec.2015.02.011 · 2.60 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Objectives The hypothesis was that a reminder about recommended primary care physician (PCP) follow-up, sent via e-mail to patients discharged from the emergency department (ED), would increase the proportion of patients who followed up with their PCPs within the recommended time frame. Patient receptiveness to e-mail follow-up reminders was also assessed.Methods This was a mixed methods clinical intervention study with subjects randomized either to receive the usual care discharge instructions only or to also receive a reminder e-mail message the day after the ED visit. The reminder e-mail contained the subject's PCP's name and address and the recommended PCP follow-up time interval. A blinded review of outpatient PCP medical records was conducted to determine whether and when follow-up occurred. Researchers attempted to contact patients with a telephone survey 2 weeks after their ED visits. The primary outcomes between groups were compared using chi-square tests and relative risks (RRs) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs).ResultsThirty-three percent of the intervention group and 32% of the control group followed-up as recommended (RR = 1.04, 95% CI = 0.81 to 1.33); 52% of the intervention group and 48% of the control group followed-up within 10 days of the recommended time (RR = 1.08, 95% CI = 0.91 to 1.29). The 334 patients (57%) successfully contacted via telephone demonstrated a high interest in receiving future e-mail reminders (75%), with the group that received e-mail reminders more likely to want one in the future than those who did not receive e-mail reminders (82.5% vs. 69.76%; p = 0.04).ConclusionsE-mail reminders sent after ED visits did not improve patients' adherence to the recommended timing of primary care follow-up contained in discharge instructions. Subjects in both the control and the intervention groups favorably viewed the concept of e-mail reminders, suggesting that the value of e-mail reminders after ED discharge may be in areas such as patient satisfaction that were not specifically targeted for measurement in this study.Academic Emergency Medicine 12/2014; 22(1). DOI:10.1111/acem.12564 · 2.20 Impact Factor