Women's perceptions regarding early menopause eHealth resources to facilitate self-care

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Abstract

Study question: What are women’s needs and perspectives regarding early menopause (EM) eHealth resources? Summary answer: Most women with EM have access to multiple electronic devices and are supportive of a comprehensive co-designed EM eHealth website or App with multiple features. What is known already: Provision of evidence based information and resources are integral to high quality collaborative patient centred care, improved patient experience, promotion of best practice and optimal health outcomes. Consumer and health professional knowledge gaps regarding EM exist and potentially contribute to the observed delayed diagnosis, variation in management, dissatisfaction with care, non-compliance with cancer treatment, poor risk perception and poorer outcomes. With continuing increases in digital device ownership, women are seeking electronic resources to facilitate knowledge access and enhance self-health management, yet current EM related eHealth resources are either lacking or are inadequate for women’s needs. Study design, size, duration: A cross-sectional study of 386 Australian women with EM recruited between May and November 2017. The study was approved by the Monash Health Human Research Ethics Committee. Participants/materials, setting, methods: Women with a self-reported diagnosis of EM, recruited from hospital clinics or the community, completed an online or paper survey. Exclusion criteria were no formal EM diagnosis or nonAustralian residence (n = 123). Data collection included: demographics, medical history, current use of electronic resources to manage health/EM, support for an App, desired features of the ideal App and EM information topics. Data analysis included descriptive statistics (mean ±standard deviation) and logistic regression. Main results and the role of chance: Of 263 women, the mean age was 53.81(±10.68) with EM diagnosed at age 38.54 (±5.27). Most participants were diagnosed with EM ≥5 years ago (78%), lived in metropolitan areas (55%) and had post-school qualifications (71%). Reported cause of EM was surgical removal of ovaries (30%), unknown (29%), cancer therapy (26%), or autoimmune/genetic/metabolic (14%). Most women had a smartphone (84%) and 98% of those owned multiple electronic devices. Women reported they would prefer a website (59%) to an App (38%) to manage EM with only 37% reporting current App use to manage health and 2% to manage EM. However, 67% women thought an App would be helpful and 45% would be likely to use it. Future menopause App use was less likely with increasing age (OR, 0.96; CI, 0.93-0.99, p = 0.008) but there were no significant associations with residential location, education, time since diagnosis, or cause of EM. Features considered very important/essential to include in an EM App were: evidence-based information (81%), question prompt list (78%), opportunities to ask an expert (76%) and ability to record symptoms/ health measures (67%). EM topics rated very important/essential to include (>80% respondents) were: diagnosis, symptoms, physical/psychological effects, long term implications, hormonal/non-hormonal management and lifestyle changes. Limitations, reasons for caution: Potential response bias in relation to age/self-reported diagnosis of EM. These findings may be less relevant to nonEnglish speakers, women with lower literacy/ educational attainment and those without internet access. Wider implications of the findings: The results of this study will help development of high quality eHealth resources aiming to improve self-care and health outcomes. Further research is required to address limitations, and codevelop resources, including user testing and evaluation. Trial registration number: Not applicable.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)i439-i440
Number of pages2
JournalHuman Reproduction
Volume33
Issue numberS1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2018
EventAnnual Meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology 2018 - Centre de Convencions Internacional de Barcelona (CCIB), Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 1 Jul 20184 Jul 2018
Conference number: 34th

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