Connectivity to computers and the internet among patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders: A cross-sectional study

Maritta Anneli Vaelimaeki, Lauri Kuosmanen, Heli Hätönen, Marita Koivunen, Anneli Pitkänen, Christina Athanasopoulou, Minna Anttila

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: Information and communication technologies have been developed for a variety of health care applications and user groups in the field of health care. This study examined the connectivity to computers and the Internet among patients with schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSDs). Patients and methods: A cross-sectional survey design was used to study 311 adults with SSDs from the inpatient units of two psychiatric hospitals in Finland. The data collection lasted for 20 months and was done through patients’ medical records and a self-reported, structured questionnaire. Data analysis included descriptive statistics. Results: In total, 297 patients were included in this study (response rate =96%). More than half of them (n=156; 55%) had a computer and less than half of them (n=127; 44%) had the Internet at home. Of those who generally had access to computers and the Internet, more than one-fourth (n=85; 29%) used computers daily, and.30% (n=96; 33%) never accessed the Internet. In total, approximately one-fourth of them (n=134; 25%) learned to use computers, and less than one-third of them (n=143; 31%) were known to use the Internet by themselves. Older people (aged 45-65 years) and those with less years of education (primary school) tended not to use the computers and the Internet at all (P,0.001), and younger people and those with higher education were associated with more active use. Conclusion: Patients had quite good access to use computers and the Internet, and they mainly used the Internet to seek information. Social, occupational, and psychological functioning (which were evaluated with Global Assessment of Functioning) were not associated with access to and frequency of computer and the Internet use. The results support the use of computers and the Internet as part of clinical work in mental health care.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1201-1209
Number of pages9
JournalNeuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment
Volume13
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2017

Keywords

  • Digital divide
  • Mental illness
  • Psychosis
  • Survey
  • Technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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