The role of the Internet in health care is increasing. Especially in the care for patients with chronic diseases eHealth offers many opportunities to empower patients in their own treatment, by providing them online self-management tools. The research in this thesis focusses on the use of eHealth in rheumatology, which covers a diverse range of common chronic autoimmune disorders. It describes the development, implementation and evaluation of an online patient web portal in which the main end-user -the patient- is at the heart of all studies and decisions. The individual chapters focus on the needs and preferences of patients regarding the content and design of the portal, how to optimally embed the portal in current health care according to health professionals, and the (measurement of) eHealth literacy skills that patients have, and need to have, when using online health information and applications. The sum of these studies has resulted in a clear hospital-based web portal which offers patients reliable information about their disease and available care. Moreover, the web portal offers patients access to their electronic medical records. With this tool, patients are provided home insight into their medication overview, their latest lab results and their disease activity, and they can monitor their physical and mental functioning. An evaluation study in the final chapters of the thesis shows that the portal supports patients to gain better insight into their disease and treatment, which is an essential precondition to increase the responsibility of a patient in his or her own treatment.
|Award date||31 May 2013|
|Place of Publication||Enschede|
|Publication status||Published - 31 May 2013|