Buy this Article for $10.95

Have a coupon or promotional code? Enter it here:

When you buy this you'll get access to the ePub version, a downloadable PDF, and the ability to print the full article.

Keywords

China, Older adults, Internet, Smartphones, Telemedicine, WeChat

 

Authors

  1. Zhang, Lifang PhD, MSN
  2. Wei, GuiYuan RN
  3. Xu, Zhifang MSN
  4. Huang, Qiuhuan RN
  5. Liu, Guojun MD

Abstract

Telemedicine is a promising way to deliver patient education and health services, but access to information technology among potential patients is a prerequisite. This study surveyed the prevalence of smartphone use and the use of the Chinese social networking platform WeChat and Wi-Fi access in the homes of older adults in a western area of China. A convenience sample of 225 older adults with chronic diseases in two tertiary hospitals was interviewed regarding smartphone ownership, WeChat use, and access to Wi-Fi at home. Participant ability in performing the activities of daily living was also assessed. Logistic regressions were used to analyze the independently associated factors of smartphone ownership, WeChat use, and Wi-Fi access at home. The results show that the prevalence of smartphone use was 19.6%, only 8.9% of those surveyed used WeChat, but 39.6% had access to Wi-Fi at home. Education level was the only factor significantly associated with the three dependent variables. Ability in performing activities of daily living was positively correlated with access to Wi-Fi at home (odds ratio, 2.549; P = .011). It will be difficult to implement telemedicine through smartphones in such relatively poor areas of China. Better-educated older adults who are less dependent in performing activities of daily living are potential users of telemedicine.