Background The use of information and communication technology (ICT) in occupational therapy should allow management of chronic diseases by providing support programs in education including the use of multimedia services.
Objectives In order to determine the presence of information and communication technologies use in the options of telerehabilitation, a survey was conducted 224 newly diagnosed patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Methods The quantitative research approach was used with the newly created detected patients with RA treated on Department of Rheumatology at the University Medical Centre Ljubljana. The questionnaire included basic demographic information and questions about the use extent and possibilities for using ICT. The population also accounted for patients with RA diagnosed between 1 January 2014 and 31 December 2015. The data obtained was statistically analysed with the SPSS program IMB 20. The total of 64 survey questionnaires were completed, which represents 28% of the selected population.
Results 23.4% RA patients don't use internet. 48.4% RA patients use personal computers (PC), and 51.6% patients use smart phones. 35.3% of patients that use PC use it for e-mailing, searching health information (35.4%), video calls (13.3%) and sending messages (15%). Patients who use smart phones use them for calls (31.9%), texting and calls (26.7%), e-mailing (25%), searching health information (12.9%), and video calls (3.4%). There is a positive correlation between the use of modern ICT and the opinion that the interviewed patients would use telerehabilitation services during their rehabilitation. Pearson correlation coefficients are statistically significant with all the ICT. With using a PC (r =0.602) and smart phones (r =0.542) there is a medium strong positive correlation Positive coefficients indicate that the surveyed patients who are increasingly using ICT think they could help themselves with telerehabilitation. Increased frequency of ICT usage is associated with potentially greater possibility of using telerehabilitation.
Conclusions The need for rapid access and exchange of information is the main reason for the use of information and communication technologies in healthcare, and is conditional for the development of e-health. Research provided answers questions about the possibilities of using information and communication technology and rehabilitation services at a distance – telerehabilitation in occupational therapy.
Disclosure of Interest None declared