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

Bena Cartmill, Laurelie R. Wall, Elizabeth C. Ward, Anne J. Hill, Sandro V. Porceddu


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.


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