eHealth Use Among First-Generation Immigrants From Pakistan in the Oslo Area, Norway, With Focus on Diabetes: Survey Protocol


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Background: A variety of eHealth services are available and commonly used by the general public. eHealth has the potential to eng age and empo wer people with managing their health. The prerequisite is, howe ver, that eHealth services are adapted to the sociocultural heterogeneity of the user base and are available in a language and with contents that fit the users’ preference, skills, and abilities. Pakistani immigrants in the Oslo area, Norw ay, have a much higher risk of Type-2 diabetes (T2D) than their Norwe gian counterparts do. In spite of having access to information and communication technology (ICT) and the Internet, ICT skills in this population are reported to be relati vely low. Further , there is insuf ficient information about their use of and attitudes toward eHealth services, necessitating investig ation of this group in particular . Objecti ve: This study tar gets first-generation immigrants from Pakistan living in the Oslo area and examines their use of and attitudes toward eHealth services, specif ically: information searches, communication using ICT , and use of ICT for self-management or decision making, all concerning T2D. Methods: Due to a high pre valence of low literac y among the tar get population, we emplo yed questionnaire-based indi vidual intervie ws. The questionnaire was developed by implementing potentially rele vant theoretical constructs (technology acceptance model (TAM) and health belief model (HBM)) as measures. To explore issues around language, culture, and general ICT skills, we also implemented questions that we assume were particularly rele vant in the conte xt studied but do not appear in any theoretical frame works. The questionnaire was revised to reflect results of a pilot study involving 10 participants. We emplo yed culturally sensiti ve sampling methods to reach informants who could otherwise fail to be included in the surv ey. Results: This paper presents a surv ey protocol. The data collection is ongoing. The aim is to collect 200 responses in total by March 2016. Conclusions: For eHealth to become an influential social inno vation, equal access to eHealth services regardless of users’ language, culture, and ICT skills is a prerequisite. Results from this study will be of importance for understanding how people who may not maximally benef it from eHealth services today could be tar geted in the future.




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