Acceptance, drivers, and barriers to use eHealth interventions in patients with post-COVID-19 syndrome for management of post-COVID-19 symptoms : a cross-sectional study

Background: Post-COVID-19 syndrome is a new and debilitating disease without adequate treatment options. eHealth could be a reasonable approach for symptom management.

Objectives: This study aims to evaluate the acceptance for eHealth interventions for symptom management in individuals with post-COVID-19 syndrome, as well as drivers and barriers influencing acceptance.

Design: Cross-sectional study.

Methods: This study was conducted from January 19 until 24 May 2022. Recruitment took place with a web-based survey. Acceptance and predictors of eHealth interventions were measured by the extended UTAUT model. Included in the model were the core predictor performance expectancy, social influence, and effort expectancy. Previously diagnosed mental illness was estimated and mental health by using the well-established Generalized Anxiety Disorder Scale-7 and the Patient Health Questionnaire Depression Scale. The effect of sociodemographic and medical data was assessed. Multiple hierarchical regression analyses as well as group comparisons were performed.

Results: 342 individuals with post-COVID-19 syndrome were examined. The acceptance of eHealth interventions for symptom management was moderate to high (M = 3.60, SD = 0.89). Acceptance was significantly higher in individuals with lower/other education, patients with moderate to severe symptoms during initial COVID-19 infection, still significantly impaired patients, and individuals with a mental illness. Identified predictors of acceptance were age (β = .24, p < .001), current condition including moderate (β = .49, p = .002) and still significantly impaired (β = .67, p < .001), digital confidence (β = .19, p < .001), effort expectancy (β = .26, p < .001), performance expectancy (β = .33, p < .001), and social influence (β = .26, p < .001).

Conclusion: Patients with post-COVID-19 syndrome reported a satisfying level of acceptance and drivers and barriers could be identified. These factors need to be considered for the implementation and future use of eHealth interventions.


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