Disability digital divide: survey of accessibility of eHealth services as perceived by people with and without impairment
Artikeln är publicerad i BMC Public Health. Författare: Linda Pettersson, Stefan Johansson, Ingrid Demmelmaier och Catharina Gustavsson.
Sustainable and effective eHealth requires accessibility for everyone. Little is known about how accessibility of eHealth is perceived among people with various impairments. The aim of this study was to compare use and perceived difficulty in the use of eHealth among people with and without impairment, and how different types of impairment were associated with perceived difficulty in the use of eHealth.
This study used data collected in a nationwide survey in Sweden. Snowball sampling was used to recruit participants with self-reported impairment, from June to October 2019. In February 2020, the survey was posted to people in the general population who were matched to the participants with impairment by age, gender and county of residence. Multiple logistic regression was used to analyse the use of four eHealth services, and perceived difficulty in the use of six eHealth services.
In total, 1631 participants with, and 1084 participants without impairment responded to the survey. Participants with impairment reported less use and more difficulty in the use of all eHealth services as compared to participants without impairment. When comparing types of impairment, booking healthcare appointments online was least used and most avoided by participants with communication, language and calculation impairments (adjusted odds ratio (aOR) use 0.64, 95% confidence interval (95%CI) 0.49–0.83; aOR avoid 1.64, 95%CI 1.19–2.27), and intellectual impairments (aOR use 0.28, 95%CI 0.20–0.39; aOR avoid 2.88, 95%CI 1.86–4.45). The Swedish national web-portal for health information and services, 1177.se, was reported difficult to use the most among participants with communication, language and calculation impairments (aOR 2.24, 95%CI 1.50–3.36), deaf-blindness (aOR 11.24, 95%CI 3.49–36.23) and hearing impairment (aOR 2.50, 95%CI 1.17–5.35).
The results confirm the existence of an eHealth disability digital divide. People with impairment were not one homogeneous group, but differed in perceived difficulties in regard to eHealth. Based on a purposeful subgrouping of impairments, we showed that people with communication, language and calculation impairments, and intellectual impairments, reported least use and most difficulty in using eHealth. The findings can guide further research in creating eHealth that is accessible for all, including those with the most significant difficulties.
Full text article: Disability digital divide: survey of accessibility of eHealth services as perceived by people with and without impairment.