Patient Experiences of Diabetes eHealth

Gregory, Peggy orcid iconORCID: 0000-0001-7891-6666, Byrne, Paula and Gabbay, Mark (2014) Patient Experiences of Diabetes eHealth. International Journal of Sociotechnology and Knowledge Development, 6 (1). pp. 1-17. ISSN 1941-6253

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The authors report results from a qualitative study designed to investigate patients’ use and perceptions of a
diabetes eHealth system. 38 patients at a primary care practice in Northern England used a system for six
months and were interviewed three times. Facilities provided were access to information; blood glucose upload
and sharing; target setting; and communication with health practitioners and other patients. Results showed
a variety of ‘frequency of use’ and ‘features used’ patterns, including non-use. Barriers included difficulty
accepting diabetes, technical problems, and health or personal problems; facilitators included a positive
approach to diabetes, being an established home computer user and having no additional health or personal
problems. A model is presented showing how the system crosses the boundary between self-management and
support seeking. The authors theorise that the system created boundary objects that take on different meanings
for the actors that use them; these need to be meaningful, acceptable and engaging if the system is to be used.
The authors conclude that eHealth systems would be improved by using iterative co-design and evaluation
techniques to enable the capture of heterogeneous and unanticipated system use.

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