The Mobile Health Readiness of People Receiving In-Center Hemodialysis and Home Dialysis

Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2020 Dec 31;16(1):98-106. doi: 10.2215/CJN.11690720. Epub 2020 Dec 22.


Background and objectives: Mobile health is the health care use of mobile devices, such as smartphones. Mobile health readiness is a prerequisite to successful implementation of mobile health programs. The aim of this study was to examine the status and correlates of mobile health readiness among individuals on dialysis.

Design, setting, participants, & measurements: A cross-sectional 30-item questionnaire guided by the Khatun mobile health readiness conceptual model was distributed to individuals on dialysis from 21 in-center hemodialysis facilities and 14 home dialysis centers. The survey assessed the availability of devices and the internet, proficiency, and interest in using mobile health.

Results: In total, 949 patients (632 hemodialysis and 317 home dialysis) completed the survey. Of those, 81% owned smartphones or other internet-capable devices, and 72% reported using the internet. The majority (70%) reported intermediate or advanced mobile health proficiency. The main reasons for using mobile health were appointments (56%), communication with health care personnel (56%), and laboratory results (55%). The main reported concerns with mobile health were privacy and security (18%). Mobile health proficiency was lower in older patients: compared with the 45- to 60-years group, respondents in age groups <45, 61-70, and >70 years had adjusted odds ratios of 5.04 (95% confidence interval, 2.23 to 11.38), 0.39 (95% confidence interval, 0.24 to 0.62), and 0.22 (95% confidence interval, 0.14 to 0.35), respectively. Proficiency was lower in participants with Hispanic/Latinx ethnicity (adjusted odds ratio, 0.49; 95% confidence interval, 0.31 to 0.75) and with less than college education (adjusted odds ratio for "below high school," 0.09; 95% confidence interval, 0.05 to 0.16 and adjusted odds ratio for "high school only," 0.26; 95% confidence interval, 0.18 to 0.39). Employment was associated with higher proficiency (adjusted odds ratio, 2.26; 95% confidence interval, 1.18 to 4.32). Although home dialysis was associated with higher proficiency in the unadjusted analyses, we did not observe this association after adjustment for other factors.

Conclusions: The majority of patients on dialysis surveyed were ready for, and proficient in, mobile health. CLINICAL TRIAL REGISTRY NAME AND REGISTRATION NUMBER DIALYSIS MHEALTH SURVEY,: NCT04177277.

Keywords: end stage kidney disease; hemodialysis; mHealth; mobile health; telehealth; telemedicine.

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