Sociodemographic differences in the accessibility and use of digital technologies to support health in Wales: a population survey
PHE ePoster Library. Davies A. Sep 12, 2019; 274530; 87
Dr. Alisha Davies
Dr. Alisha Davies
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Abstract
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Abstract Background
Understanding the extent of engagement in health through digital technology is essential to inform the development of an equitable population health system in a digital era.
Methods
A random probability approach was used to identify a nationally representative household sample of 1,240 individuals aged >=16 years living in Wales. Participants were asked about their use of digital technologies (including mobile phones, computers, tablets and wearable technology) to support health, and health status (including self-rated health, health behaviours and mental health).
Results
66% of the population used digital technology to support their health. Most commonly reported actions were finding information about general health (57%), about health services (53%) and about activities to support health (43%). 34% of the population used digital technology to monitor health. Most common activities were step counting (28%), fitness (27%) and nutritional intake (21%). Levels of engagement vary across population groups and are not solely attributable to differences in access to digital technology. Those of older age, living in more deprived areas and in poorer health were less likely to engage with technology to support health. However, a higher proportion of those with low mental wellbeing used digital technology to find emotional support online.
Conclusion
Such insights will ensure digital technology, as an enabler of change, addresses rather than exacerbates existing inequalities in health. External funding details
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