Understanding Undergraduate Students’ eHealth Use and Views of the Patient-Provider Relationship
Reyes, Michelle Anne
eHealth, defined by WHO as “the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for health”, is an innovative tool which broadens accessibility of health information and communication between patients and physicians. It can be utilized as an at home method of learning medical information which is cost-effective and can be tailored to an individual’s needs. Within the past few decades, eHealth has grown exponentially in usage alongside technology and has become more prevalent for individuals who are proactive in their health, but little is documented about how undergraduates use eHealth or view the patient-provider relationship. College students frequently use technology and have been assumed from previous studies to utilize eHealth due to convenience and comfort using technology. Little is known about the specific patient-provider relationship model for undergraduates, but a guardian or paternalistic relationship, in which medical decisions are dictated solely by the physician, has been identified as the traditional model with general populations. This research used surveys and interviews to evaluate how undergraduates view eHealth and the patient-provider relationship. Using data from 527 students enrolled in introductory biology lab courses, it was found that students are familiar with eHealth but prioritize medical information from their provider as their preferred medical source followed by information from family members. Most students indicated that they want their physician to act more as a counselor or advisor than a guardian. Racial and ethnic disparities were found in how comfortable students were with their medical provider, as well as how frequently the students experienced barriers in sharing health information with their provider. Whether the gender identity of the student matched that of their provider also significantly impacted the student’s level of comfort with their provider. This research highlights how physicians and family have a greater influence on undergraduates’ health decisions than information discovered through eHealth sources and demonstrates that undergraduates may view the patient-provider relationship differently than the traditional guardian or paternalistic model. In addition, it raises questions about how to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in the patient-physician relationship so that more undergraduates will be comfortable seeking medical advice from a physician, when needed.
Reyes, Michelle Anne. (May 2021). Understanding Undergraduate Students’ eHealth Use and Views of the Patient-Provider Relationship (Master's Thesis, East Carolina University). Retrieved from the Scholarship. (http://hdl.handle.net/10342/9087.)
Reyes, Michelle Anne. Understanding Undergraduate Students’ eHealth Use and Views of the Patient-Provider Relationship. Master's Thesis. East Carolina University, May 2021. The Scholarship. http://hdl.handle.net/10342/9087. August 19, 2022.
Reyes, Michelle Anne, “Understanding Undergraduate Students’ eHealth Use and Views of the Patient-Provider Relationship” (Master's Thesis., East Carolina University, May 2021).
Reyes, Michelle Anne. Understanding Undergraduate Students’ eHealth Use and Views of the Patient-Provider Relationship [Master's Thesis]. Greenville, NC: East Carolina University; May 2021.
East Carolina University
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