Does health literacy impact technological comfort in cancer patients?

Academic Article

Abstract

  • Introduction: As healthcare systems are adapting due to COVID-19, there has been an increased need for telehealth in the outpatient setting. Not all patients have been comfortable with this transition. We sought to determine the relationship between health literacy and technological comfort in our cancer patients. Methods: We conducted a survey of patients that presented to the oncology clinics at a single-center over a 2-month period. Patients were given a voluntary, anonymous, survey during their visit containing questions regarding demographics, health literacy and technological comfort. Results: 344 surveys were returned (response-rate 64.3%). The median patient age was 61 years, 70% of responders were female and the most common race was White (67.3%). Increasing patient age, male gender, Black and Native-American race, decreased health literacy and lack of home broadband were associated with lower technological comfort score. Conclusion: In our cohort, patients with lower health literacy scores, older and male patients, or who have poor internet access showed a lower level of technological comfort. At risk patients can be identified and provided additional support in their use of telehealth services.
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    Author List

  • Irfan A; Lever JM; Fouad MN; Sleckman BP; Smith H; Chu DI; Rose JB; Wang TN; Reddy S