Determinants of frequent Internet use in an urban kidney transplant population in the United States: characterizing the digital divide

Prog Transplant. 2015 Mar;25(1):9-17. doi: 10.7182/pit2015957.

Abstract

Context: The Internet is a staple of electronic communication and is essential to the emerging telemonitoring and health information technology interventions for adults with chronic diseases.

Objective: To identify determinants of frequent Internet use in an urban kidney transplant population in the United States.

Design: A single center, cross-sectional survey study.

Setting: An urban Midwestern transplant center.

Participants: 78 pretransplant and 177 posttransplant patients.

Main outcome measures: Frequent Internet use, defined as using the Internet more than 5 hours per week.

Results: Only 38% of participants reported being frequent Internet users. Non-Hispanic blacks and participants who reported their race/ethnicity as "other" were significantly less likely than whites to report being frequent Internet users. Women were 59% less likely than men to be frequent users of the Internet. Those who reported having kidney disease for more than 3 years were more likely to report being frequent Internet users. As education increased, Internet use increased. As age increased, Internet use decreased.

Conclusion: Alternatives to electronic information sources and/or additional resources should be considered for those who may fall in the so-called digital divide.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Demography
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Internet / statistics & numerical data*
  • Kidney Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • United States