Purpose Focusing on youth with juvenile arthritis (JA), this study investigates eHealth interventions as a means to develop services to improve the health of youth with chronic conditions. Internet use and preferences for Internet-based interventions were compared among youth with high and low psychosocial quality of life (PS-QL) scores. Methods Youth with JA (n = 134; high PS-QL, n = 67; low PS-QL, n = 67) completed the MyRheum online survey, which assessed physical functioning, psychosocial health, Internet usage, and amount of time spent using social networking Web sites. Youth indicated their choice, interest, and preferences in using a Web site for youth with JA. The t tests, chi-squared tests, and Fisher exact tests were used to assess significance between high and low PS-QL groups. Results Youth with lower PS-QL reported greater intrusiveness of their condition across life's activities than did youth with higher PS-QL. Low PS-QL was associated with spending more than 1 hour per day using social networking sites and having used the Internet to find information on various health and substance use topics. Youth with lower PS-QL expressed more interest in messaging others, online forums, building personal profiles, and networking with other teens than did youth with higher PS-QL. Both those with high and low PS-QL preferred online to in-person support groups. Conclusions Many youth with JA report low PS-QL and identify interest in Internet-based supportive interventions. The next generation of eHealth interventions for youth with JA, and possibly other chronic conditions, may better address their needs by recognizing the diversity of experiences and tailoring intervention strategies accordingly.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the United States Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau through the Leadership Education in Adolescent Health Fellowship Training Program, (P.S.); National Research Service Award in Primary Medical Care, grant no. T32HP22239 (PI: Borowsky), Bureau of Health Professions, Health Resources and Services Administration, Department of Health and Human Services (K.R.J.) and from the University of Minnesota--Academic Health Center Faculty Research Development Program (to P.B.S. and K.J.H.).
© 2015 Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine.
- Internet interventions
- Juvenile arthritis
- Juvenile rheumatic condition