Computer Literacy and Health Locus of Control as Determinants for Readiness and Acceptability of Telepractice in a Head and Neck Cancer Population

  • Bena Cartmill Centre for Functioning and Health Research, Queensland Health, Australia and Princess Alexandra Hospital, Queensland Health
  • Laurelie R. Wall Centre for Functioning and Health Research, Queensland Health, and Princess Alexandra Hospital, Queensland Health and School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at The University of Queensland, Centre for Research Excellence in Telehealth, The University of Queensland
  • Elizabeth C. Ward Professor and Director Centre for Functioning and Health Research, Queensland Health, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at The University of Queensland, and Centre for Research Excellence in Telehealth, The University of Queensland
  • Anne J. Hill
  • Sandro V. Porceddu A/Professor and Director of Research Radiation Oncology Department, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Queensland Health and School of Medicine, The University of Queensland

Abstract

Understanding end-user populations is required in designing telepractice applications. This study explored computer literacy and health locus of control in head/neck cancer (HNC) patients to inform suitability for telerehabilitation. Sixty individuals with oropharygneal cancer were recruited. Computer literacy was examined using a 10-question survey. The Multidimensional Health Locus of Control Scale Form C (MHLC-C) examined perceptions of health “control”.  Participants were mostly middle-aged males, from high socioeconomic backgrounds. Only 10% were non-computer users. Of the computers users, 91% reported daily use, 66% used multiple devices and over 75% rated themselves as “confident” users. More than half were open to using technology for health-related activities. High internal scores (MHLC-C) signified a belief that own behaviour influenced health status.  HNC patients have high computer literacy and an internal health locus of control, both are positive factors to support telepractice models of care. This may include asynchronous models requiring heightened capacity for self-management.

  

Author Biographies

Bena Cartmill, Centre for Functioning and Health Research, Queensland Health, Australia and Princess Alexandra Hospital, Queensland Health
Dr Bena Cartmill is a Health Research Fellow and Advanced Speech Pahtologist at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane. She currently holds a post-doctoral fellowship examining optimisation of services for head and neck cancer patients using telehealth.
Laurelie R. Wall, Centre for Functioning and Health Research, Queensland Health, and Princess Alexandra Hospital, Queensland Health and School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at The University of Queensland, Centre for Research Excellence in Telehealth, The University of Queensland
Laurelie Wall is a speech pathologist and PhD candidate in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at The University of Queensland.
Elizabeth C. Ward, Professor and Director Centre for Functioning and Health Research, Queensland Health, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at The University of Queensland, and Centre for Research Excellence in Telehealth, The University of Queensland
Professor Ward's primary research area is the investigation of speech and swallowing outcomes for patients undergoing head and neck cancer management. Liz has over 200 publications to date. Link to full publication records can be found via the UQ Researchers website at: http://researchers.uq.edu.au/researcher/304
Sandro V. Porceddu, A/Professor and Director of Research Radiation Oncology Department, Princess Alexandra Hospital, Queensland Health and School of Medicine, The University of Queensland
A/Prof Porceddu is a Senior Radiation Oncologist and Director of Research at the Princess ALexandra Hospital, Brisbane Australia. He is the Chair of the Queensland Cooperative Oncology Group and recent President of Clincal Oncological Society of Australia (COSA) and Trans Tasman Radiation Oncology Group (TROG)

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Published
2016-12-15
How to Cite
Cartmill, B., Wall, L. R., Ward, E. C., Hill, A. J., & Porceddu, S. V. (2016). Computer Literacy and Health Locus of Control as Determinants for Readiness and Acceptability of Telepractice in a Head and Neck Cancer Population. International Journal of Telerehabilitation, 8(2), 49–60. https://doi.org/10.5195/ijt.2016.6203
Section
Research