(HealthDay)—Caregivers of children receiving care in an urban pediatric primary care setting frequently use digital technologies, according to a study published online June 10 in Pediatrics.
Tori L. DeMartini, M.D., from the Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, and colleagues examined the use of digital technology among 257 caregivers of children (median age, 2.9 years) receiving care at two urban pediatric primary care centers. Caregivers were surveyed for access to home Internet, e-mail, smartphone, and social media; use was quantified with a digital technology scale (0 to 4).
The clinical population was 73 percent African-American and 92 percent Medicaid insured. The researchers found that 80 and 71 percent, respectively, had Internet at home and a smartphone. Most participants reported using e-mail and Facebook (91 and 78 percent, respectively) and 27 percent reported using Twitter. Of the participants, 97 percent scored ≥1 on the digital technology scale and 49 percent scored 4. Most respondents (70 percent) said that they would use digitally supplied health care information if approved by their child's medical provider.
"This highly prevalent use of digital technology coupled with a strong caregiver interest in receiving medical information digitally creates an opportunity to develop innovative techniques for communicating with a traditionally hard-to-reach population," the authors write.
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