Are Malaysian Diabetic Patients Ready to Use The New Generation of Health Care Service Delivery? A Telehealth Interest Assessment|
Samiei, Vida; Wan Puteh, Sharifa Ezat; Abdul Manaf, Mohd Rizal; Abdul Latip, Khalib & Ismail, Aniza
The idea of launching an internet-based self-management program for patients with diabetes led us to do a cross-sectional study to find out about the willingness, interest, equipment, and level of usage of computer and internet in a medium- to low-social class area and to find the feasibility of using e-telemonitoring systems for these patients.
A total of 180 patients with type 2 diabetes participated in this study and fulfilled the self-administered questionnaire in Diabetes Clinic of Primary Medical Center of University Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre; the response rate was 84%. We used the universal sampling method and assessed three groups of factors including sociodemographic, information and communication technology (ICT), willingness and interest, and disease factors.
Our results showed that 56% of the patients with diabetes were interested to use such programs; majority of the patients were Malay, and patients in the age group of 51–60 years formed the largest group. Majority of these patients studied up to secondary level of education. Age, education, income, and money spent for checkup were significantly associated with the interest of patients with diabetes to the internet-based programs. ICT-related factors such as computer ownership, computer knowledge, access to the internet, frequency of using the internet and reasons of internet usage had a positive effect on patients’ interest.
Our results show that among low to intermediate social class of Malaysian patients with type 2 diabetes, more than 50% of them can and wanted to use the internet-based self-management programs. Furthermore, we also show that patients equipped with more ICT-related factors had more interest toward these programs. Therefore, we propose making ICT more affordable and integrating it into the health care system at primary care level and then extending it nationwide.
Healthcare delivery; healthcare services; self-assessment; type 2 diabetes; telehealth