G5 Doctoral dissertation (article)
eHealth and People with Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders

List of Authors: Athanasopoulou. Christina
Publisher: University of Turku
Place: Turku
Publication year: 2017
ISBN: ISBN 978-951-29-6763-6
eISBN: ISBN 978-951-29-6764-3


eHealth is the transfer of health services and health care by information and communications technology. People with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders (SSD) use the Internet for general and health-related reasons. Yet, it is unclear what kind of schizophrenia-related health information this population finds online. eHealth literacy is the ability of Internet users to find, understand, and apply the health information they acquire, to make appropriate health decisions. People with SSD exhibit cognitive deficits and consequently, their eHealth literacy can be affected. The goal of the study was to describe schizophrenia-related health information, to investigate eHealth use among adults with SSD in Finland and Greece, and to compare the country groups.

The methodology consisted of three principle procedures. First, a mixed methods study was conducted with descriptive, cross-sectional design, in order to describe and compare schizophrenia-related health information and videos found online when searched in Finnish and Greek language. Content analysis was performed. Data were analyzed with quantitative and descriptive statistics. Second, a survey study with a descriptive, cross-sectional design was conducted to describe and compare eHealth use among Finnish and Greek people with schizophrenia-spectrum disorders (SSD). Data were collected by a structured questionnaire and analyzed with quantitative, descriptive statistics, partially, group comparisons were made with logistic regression techniques. Third, a systematic literature review and meta-analysis were performed to assess the potential effectiveness of social media interventions for people with SSD.

Our findings, first, showed that assessed online schizophrenia-related health information tended to be of low quality, with no significant differences between the two countries. Furthermore, schizophrenia-related videos tended to present mental illness in a negative, not medically-oriented way, again, without significant differences between the countries. Second, Internet use (FI: 87% vs. GR: 33%) and eHealth literacy (FI: mean 27.05 vs. GR: mean 23.15) of Finnish people with SSD was significantly higher (P<.0001) than their Greek counterparts. The interest component of attitudes toward computer/Internet was significantly higher (P=.006) among the Greek group (FI: mean 2.60 vs. GR: mean 3.16). Third, the systematic review and meta-analysis did not show superiority of social media mental health interventions than treatment as usual.

In conclusion, it is recommended that in the future, better quality mental health information and videos need to be made available in several languages and to be easily accessible through the most popular search engines and social media sites. eHealth literacy instruction and training is necessary so that people with SSD can find, understand, and apply the health information they retrieve online.

Last updated on 2019-29-01 at 13:04