Sociodemographic factors influencing the use of eHealth in people with chronic diseases

F. Reiners, J. Sturm, L.W.J. Bouw, E.J.M. Wouters*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

115 Citations (Scopus)
163 Downloads (Pure)


Alongside the growing number of older persons, the prevalence of chronic diseases is increasing, leading to higher pressure on health care services. eHealth is considered a solution for better and more efficient health care. However, not every patient is able to use eHealth, for several reasons. This study aims to provide an overview of: (1) sociodemographic factors that influence the use of eHealth; and (2) suggest directions for interventions that will improve the use of eHealth in patients with chronic disease. A structured literature review of PubMed, ScienceDirect, Association for Computing Machinery Digital Library (ACMDL), and Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature (CINAHL) was conducted using four sets of keywords: “chronic disease”, “eHealth”, “factors”, and “suggested interventions”. Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method studies were included. Four researchers each assessed quality and extracted data. Twenty-two out of 1639 articles were included. Higher age and lower income, lower education, living alone, and living in rural areas were found to be associated with lower eHealth use. Ethnicity revealed mixed outcomes. Suggested solutions were personalized support, social support, use of different types of Internet devices to deliver eHealth, and involvement of patients in the development of eHealth interventions. It is concluded that eHealth is least used by persons who need it most. Tailored delivery of eHealth is recommended.
Original languageEnglish
Article number645
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • CARE
  • chronic diseases
  • digital divide
  • eHealth
  • interventions
  • sociodemographic factors
  • technology


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