To use or not to use - practitioners' perceptions of an open web portal for young patients with diabetes.
2012 (English)In: Journal of Medical Internet Research, ISSN 1438-8871, Vol. 14, no 6, 51-61 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
BACKGROUND: Health care professionals' attitudes can be a significant factor in their acceptance and efficient use of information technology, so they need to have more knowledge about this resource to enhance their participation.
OBJECTIVE: We explored practitioners' perceptions of using an open-access interactive Web portal tailored to young diabetes type 1 patients and their guardians or significant others. The portal offered discussion forums, blog tools, self-care and treatment information, research updates, and news from local practitioners.
METHODS: Eighteen professionals who were on pediatric diabetes care teams each wrote an essay on their experience using the portal. For their essays, they were asked to describe two situations, focusing on positive and negative user experiences. The essays were analyzed using qualitative content analysis.
RESULTS: Based on our analysis of the respondents essays, we identified three categories that describe perceptions of the Web portal. The first category - to use or not to use - included the different perspectives of the practioners; those who questioned the benefits of using the Web portal or showed some resistance to using it. The frequency of use among the practitioners varied greatly. Some practitioners never used it, while others used it on a daily basis and regularly promoted it to their patients. Some respondents in this category reflected on the benefits of contributing actively to online dialogues. In the second category - information center for everyone - practitioners embraced the site as a resource for scientifically sound information and advice. As part of their practice, and as a complement to traditional care, practitioners in this category described sending information through the portal to patients and their significant others. Practitioners felt safe recommending the site because they knew that the information provided was generated by other practitioners. They also assumed that their patients benefited from actively using the Web portal at home: peers brought the site to life by exchanging experiences through the discussion forums. In the third category - developing our practice - practitioners reflected upon the types of information that should be given to patients and how to give it (ie, during in-person appointments or through the Web portal). They perceived meeting with various professionals at other hospitals to update information on the portal and develop content policies as constructive teamwork. Practitioners expressed interest in reading patients' dialogues online to learn more about their views. They also thought about how they could use the portal to adapt more to patients' needs (eg, creating functions so patients could chat with the diabetes nurses and doctors).
CONCLUSIONS: Practitioners expressed positive perceptions toward a tailored open Web portal. They suggested that future benefits could be derived from systems that integrate factual information and online dialogues between practitioners and patients (ie, exchanging information for everyone's benefit).
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 14, no 6, 51-61 p.
National CategoryMedical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-85275DOI: 10.2196/jmir.1987ISI: 000311078200004PubMedID: 23137767OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-85275DiVA: diva2:567878
funding agencies|Linkoping Centre for Life Science Technologies (LIST) at Linkoping University, Sweden||2012-11-142012-11-142013-09-12