Aged and more severe allergic rhinitis patients are less likely to the
use information and communication technologies for illness management
Background: Information and communication technologies (ICTs)
improve patient-centered care and are routinely used in Allergic
Rhinitis (AR), but patients’ preferences and attitudes are unexplored.
This study examines AR-related information preferences and ICT use by AR
patients. Methods: A survey-based cross-sectional study was
carried out in Ecuador in seven centers of reference of allergic
disease. Participants were 18 or older, diagnosed with AR, and had
access to ICT and the internet. Descriptive and binomial logistic
regression were done. A value of less than 0.05 was considered
statistically significant. Results: 217 patients were included.
47% used ICTs to learn about AR, 38.2% found it useful. 75% disagreed
that ICTs reduce doctor’s appointments. Individuals with poorer quality
of life were 27% more likely to utilize ICTs to contact their doctor
and 23% more likely to be interested in AR-related content. Patients
with long-term AR or other allergies were less likely to use ICTs.
Higher education and lower quality of life may increase AR app adoption
by 4.8 times. Academic preparation five-fold increased ICT use for
health provider communication. Mild-persistent allergic rhinitis 12
times enhanced the probabilities of using ICTs to share experiences and
communicate with other patients. Conclusions: Our study found
that moderate-to-severe AR individuals are not interested in information
despite ICTs’ potential benefits. Consequently, allergists should use
evidence-based resources and establish new technological options for
content, follow-up, and emotional support for AR patients in Ecuador.