Background Studies have indicated that early treatment in arthritis improve patient outcome. An eHealth Service has been developed to support patient with potential arthritis in the decision to seek care and facilitate and improve the dialog in the clinical consultation. The service was developed to support and guide the general practitioner to shorten the referral lag time. The eHealth service is a web based questionnaire (www.ontilederna.nu =”pain in joints”), developed by Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm County Council and Oceans Observations in co-creation with patients and includes questions on signs and symptoms of arthritis. Each question offer an explanatory text why this question is important in the context of rheumatic disease. It takes about five minutes to complete the questions. The eHealth service generates a summary and depending on the results the respondent is suggested to either contact health care service or not.
Objectives To evaluate patients and health care providers perception and experience of the eHealth service www.ontilederna.nu.
Methods To evaluate the eHealth service a qualitative approach was used at 2 primary care settings and 1 rheumatology clinic for early arthritis. The patients with signs and symptoms of early arthritis were invited to answer the questions prior to their clinical visit. A printed copy of the summary was used during the medical consultation. Both health care providers and patients were invited to participate in an interview.
Results 14 patients and 9 health care providers were interviewed (3 reg. nurses, 2 general practitioners and 3 rheumatologists). The results generated the following themes.
Usability: The e-health service was easy to perform and perceived as innovative. Respondents would have appreciated the opportunity to choose where to answer the questions. The explanatory text was perceived as valuable and important. The e-health service was perceived to be beneficial as part of the medical record or attached to a referral to the specialist.
Preparation:The questions were perceived as relevant and gave the patients guidance to help them reflect on their symptoms and prepare and organize their thoughts before the meeting. It gave structure to the meeting and generated more time to discuss the next step in the process.
Shared communication: The features of the summary offered a common starting point and the health provider could acknowledge the patients symptoms when discussing the results. It helped the patient to describe and communicate their symptoms and minimized the risk to miss important aspects.
Limitations: The respondents lacked questions regarding neck and back symptoms. The test were only available in one language resulting in exclusion of non-Swedish-speaking patients.
Conclusions The test was perceived as easy, usable and adds value in the medical consultation for both patients and health care providers. After the pilot more questions have been incorporated and the translation process initiated. Further evaluation is ongoing in a rehabilitation setting to reach a broader group of patients and health care providers.
Disclosure of Interest None declared