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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/11189

Title: Usage and Non-usage Behaviour of eHealth Services Among Chinese Canadians Caring for a Family Member with Dementia
Authors: Chiu, M. L. Teresa
Advisor: Eysenbach, Gunther
Department: Health Policy, Management and Evaluation
Keywords: ehealth
health informatics
family caregiving
caregiver support
information behaviour
technology acceptance
health service utilization
mixed methods design
cultural beliefs
social support
occupational therapy
social work
Issue Date: 30-Jul-2008
Abstract: Background: Information Communication Technologies (ICT)-mediated support can reduce family caregiver burden and may bridge service gaps caused by time constraints and language or cultural barriers. (Non)-usage behaviour can be explained using Andersen’s Behavioural Model of Health Service Utilization, Venkatesh’s Unified Theory of Use and Acceptance of Technology, Eysenbach’s Law of Attrition, and Wilson’s and Chatman’s Information Behaviour Theories. Purpose: This study aimed to describe and explain (non)-usage behaviour of ehealth services among Chinese caregivers. Method: This two-phase study used a mixed methods design involving 46 Chinese caregivers who cared for a family member with dementia. Usability of the ICT tools designed in the study was tested. Phase I participants (N=28) had access to a bilingual information site and personalized email support from professionals. Phase II participants (N=18) were randomized to use one of three enhanced features. Pre- and post-intervention data were collected, and qualitative interviews were conducted. Results: The Phase I ICT tools supported the core functions without major usability issues. Perceived efforts to use the ICT-mediated services influenced the consent decisions of Phase I caregivers (p=.036). Caregivers initiated service earlier if they had a higher acceptance of the service (p=0.017). Frequent users of email support experienced a decline of perceived burden compared with an escalation of perceived burden by non-users (p=0.023). An older age, greater caregiving competence, and lower English or computer proficiency explained non-usage behaviour. Requirements were identified to enhance the Phase I ICT tools. In Phase II, a test of three enhanced features showed there was no major usability issue. The intervention study found the enhanced features did not influence email use as hypothesized. Qualitative analysis showed usage patterns were explained by caregiver needs, caregiving beliefs, personal capacity, social support, ICT factors, and style of use. Non-users preferred Chinese to English compared with users (p=0.046). Integrating the theories and empirical findings, three concepts were developed to explain (non)-usage behaviour: usage in context, usage paths, and stages of use. Conclusion: Usage and non-usage behaviour can be explained by the service needs in the caregiving context, the use of non-ICT-mediated resources, and the access barriers to Internet use. Use of ICT-based support can be beneficial to caregivers if they do not drop out of the service.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/11189
Appears in Collections:Doctoral
The Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation - Doctoral theses

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