Date of Conferral
Rosemary O. Egondu
Health care systems still focus on single disease management and ignore the complexities of multiple conditions management. Though self-management is the focus of chronic disease management, patients with comorbidities face challenges in meeting their self-management goals. The purpose of this study was to explore the perspectives of patients with comorbid conditions on the use of eHealth technology to promote self-management. The research was grounded on the technology acceptance model. I sought to explore the participants' understanding of self-management, the challenges to self-management and their perspectives on the use of eHealth for self-management. In this phenomenological study, 10 interviews were conducted from a purposeful sample of those with two or more comorbid conditions. The collected data were audio recorded and transcribed verbatim. Prolonged engagement, member checks, and triangulation were used to ensure trustworthiness. Self-reports and observation augmented the interviews. Data collection continued until saturation was reached, then analyzed iteratively and organized according to themes. The results showed that the participants managed their conditions at home by taking prescribed drugs, attending clinics, and following a special diet. However, they faced financial constraints, struggled with symptom control, and took too many drugs. The results also showed that technology could be used for people living with comorbidity as a source of information, to remind patients to take drugs or attend clinics, to increase awareness of symptoms, and to assist in the management of the disease. This study is expected to help in understanding (a) the challenges faced by patients with comorbidities, and (b) how the use of technology promotes self-management in this growing group.