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  • 1.
    Asklund, Ina
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin.
    Nyström, E.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin.
    Sjöström, M.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin.
    Umefjord, Göran
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Stenlund, Hans
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Samuelsson, Eva
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Treatment of stress urinary incontinence via a smartphone application: a randomised controlled trial2015Ingår i: Neurourology and Urodynamics, ISSN 0733-2467, E-ISSN 1520-6777, Vol. 34, nr Supplement 3 Meeting Abstract 16, s. S40-S42Artikel i tidskrift (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 2.
    Asklund, Ina
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Nyström, Emma
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Sjöström, Malin
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Umefjord, Göran
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Stenlund, Hans
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Samuelsson, Eva
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Mobile app for treatment of stress urinary incontinence: a randomized controlled trial2017Ingår i: Neurourology and Urodynamics, ISSN 0733-2467, E-ISSN 1520-6777, Vol. 36, nr 5, s. 1369-1376Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    AIMS: To evaluate the effect of a mobile app treatment for stress urinary incontinence (SUI) in women.

    METHODS: Randomized controlled trial, conducted 2013-2014 in Sweden. Community-dwelling adult women with ≥1 SUI episode/week recruited through our website and randomized to app treatment (n = 62) or control group (postponed treatment, n = 61). One participant from each group was lost to follow-up. Intervention was the mobile app Tät(®) with a treatment program focused on pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT), and information about SUI and lifestyle factors. Primary outcomes, 3 months after randomization: symptom severity (International Consultation on Incontinence Modular Questionnaire Urinary Incontinence Short Form [ICIQ-UI SF]); and condition-specific quality of life (ICIQ Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms Quality of Life [ICIQ-LUTSqol]).

    RESULTS: One hundred and twenty-three women were included (mean age 44.7), with moderate/severe SUI (97.5%, 120/123), mean ICIQ-UI SF score 11.1 (SD 2.8) and mean ICIQ-LUTSqol score 34.4 (SD 6.1) at baseline. At follow-up, the app group reported improvements in symptom severity (mean ICIQ-UI SF score reduction: 3.9, 95% confidence interval 3.0-4.7) and condition-specific quality of life (mean ICIQ-LUTSqol score reduction: 4.8, 3.4-6.2) and the groups were significantly different (mean ICIQ-UI SF score difference: -3.2, -4.3to -2.1; mean ICIQ-LUTSqol score difference: -4.6, -7.8 to -1.4). In the app group, 98.4% (60/61) performed PFMT at follow-up, and 41.0% (25/61) performed it daily.

    CONCLUSIONS: The mobile app treatment was effective for women with SUI and yielded clinically relevant improvements. This app may increase access to first-line treatment and adherence to PFMT.

  • 3.
    Asklund, Ina
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Samuelsson, Eva
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Hamberg, Katarina
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Umefjord, Göran
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Sjöström, Malin
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    User Experience of an App-Based Treatment for Stress Urinary Incontinence: Qualitative Interview Study2019Ingår i: Journal of Medical Internet Research, ISSN 1438-8871, E-ISSN 1438-8871, Vol. 21, nr 3, artikel-id e11296Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: Stress urinary incontinence (SUI) affects 10%-39% of women. Its first-line treatment consists of lifestyle interventions and pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT), which can be performed supervised or unsupervised. Health apps are increasing in number and can be used to improve adherence to treatments. We developed the Tät app, which provides a 3-month treatment program with a focus on PFMT for women with SUI. The app treatment was evaluated in a randomized controlled trial, which demonstrated efficacy for improving incontinence symptoms and quality of life. In this qualitative interview study, we investigated participant experiences of the app-based treatment.

    Objective: This study aimed to explore women’s experiences of using an app-based treatment program for SUI.

    Methods: This qualitative study is based on telephone interviews with 15 selected women, with a mean age of 47 years, who had used the app in the previous randomized controlled trial. A semistructured interview guide with open-ended questions was used, and the interviews were transcribed verbatim. Data were analyzed according to the grounded theory.

    Results: The results were grouped into three categories: “Something new!” “Keeping motivation up!” and “Good enough?” A core category, “Enabling my independence,” was identified. The participants appreciated having a new and modern way to access a treatment program for SUI. The use of new technology seemed to make incontinence treatment feel more prioritized and less embarrassing for the subjects. The closeness to their mobile phone and app features like reminders and visual graphs helped support and motivate the women to carry through the PFMT. The participants felt confident that they could perform the treatment program on their own, even though they expressed some uncertainty about whether they were doing the pelvic floor muscle contractions correctly. They felt that the app-based treatment increased their self-confidence and enabled them to take responsibility for their treatment.

    Conclusions: Use of the app-based treatment program for SUI empowered the women in this study and helped them self-manage their incontinence treatment. They appreciated the app as a new tool for supporting their motivation to carry through a slightly challenging PFMT program.

    Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01848938; https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01848938 (Archived by WebCite at https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT01848938)

  • 4. Björk, Anna Bell
    et al.
    Hillborg, Helene
    Augutis, Marika
    Umefjord, Göran
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Evolving techniques in text-based medical consultation: Physicians' long-term experiences at an Ask the doctor service2017Ingår i: International Journal of Medical Informatics, ISSN 1386-5056, E-ISSN 1872-8243, Vol. 105, s. 83-88Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Both the demands and the options for patients to communicate with health care providers utilizing eHealth solutions are increasing. Some patients, or relatives to patients, want to consult another health care provider than the regular one, merely in text.

    Objective: To improve text-based medical consultation by learning from long-term experiences.

    Materials and methods: Physicians with comprehensive experience of answering free-text medical inquiries at an official health portal in Sweden were interviewed. The interviews were analyzed using a grounded theory approach.

    Results: Over time, the interviewed physicians developed strategies on how to formulate the answer to a medical inquiry from a previously unknown inquirer. The answering physicians experienced their primary role as providers of medical information and as mediators between an inquirer and the regular health care provider. Many of the answering physicians experienced a personal development with improved communication skills, also in face-to-face meetings with patients.

    Conclusion: Text-based medical consultation is part of an expanding area in eHealth. The development of strategies, guidelines, ethical considerations as well as educational efforts are needed to optimize the skills of asynchronous text-based health consultation.

  • 5. Björk, Anna-Bell
    et al.
    Sjöström, Malin
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Johansson, Eva E.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Samuelsson, Eva
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Umefjord, Goran
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Women's Experiences of Internet-Based or Postal Treatment for Stress Urinary Incontinence2014Ingår i: Qualitative Health Research, ISSN 1049-7323, E-ISSN 1552-7557, Vol. 24, nr 4, s. 484-493Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Stress urinary incontinence is common and sometimes embarrassing. New, simple, and easily accessible treatments are needed. We telephone interviewed 21 women who participated in a randomized controlled study comparing two treatment programs based on instructions for pelvic floor muscle training. One program was Internet-based and included email support by a urotherapist; the other was sent by post. There was no face-to-face contact in either program. Our main aim was to explore the women's experiences of the Internet-based treatment. Grounded theory analysis revealed three categories: hidden but present, at a distance but close, and by myself but not alone. These were incorporated in a core category: acknowledged but not exposed. The leakage was often a well-hidden secret, but the study treatments lowered the barrier for seeking care. In the Internet group, a supportive patient-provider relationship developed despite the lack of face-to-face contact. Internet-based treatment programs can increase access to care and empower women.

  • 6.
    Sjöström, M
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin.
    Umefjord, Göran
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Stenlund, H
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin.
    Carlbring, Per
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Andersson, G
    Samuelsson, Eva
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Internet-based treatment of stress urinary incontinence: a randomised controlled study2012Ingår i: Neurourology and Urodynamics, ISSN 0733-2467, E-ISSN 1520-6777, Vol. 31, nr 6, s. 734-736Artikel i tidskrift (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
  • 7.
    Sjöström, Malin
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin. Jämtland Cty Council, Res Unit, S-83157 Östersund, Sweden.
    Stenlund, Hans
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa. Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Johansson, S
    Jämtland Cty Council, Res Unit, S-83157 Östersund, Sweden.
    Umefjord, Göran
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Samuelsson, Eva
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Stress urinary incontinence and quality of life: a reliability study of a condition-specific instrument in paper and web-based versions2012Ingår i: Neurourology and Urodynamics, ISSN 0733-2467, E-ISSN 1520-6777, Vol. 31, nr 8, s. 1242-1246Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Aims Quality of life is an important outcome measure in studies of urinary incontinence. Electronic collection of data has several advantages. We examined the reliability of the Swedish version of the highly recommended condition-specific quality of life questionnaire International Consultation on Incontinence Modular Questionnaire-Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms Quality of Life (ICIQ-LUTSqol), in paper and web-based formats in women with stress urinary incontinence.

    Methods Women aged 1870 years, with stress urinary incontinence at least once weekly, were recruited via the project's website and answered the ICIQ-LUTSqol questionnaire. Respondents completed either the paper version twice (n?=?78), or paper and web-based versions once each (n?=?54). The ICIQ validation protocol was followed.

    Results The mean interval between answers was 18.1 (SD?=?3.1) days in the paper versus paper setting and 15.0 (SD?=?7.8) days in the paper versus web-based setting. Internal consistency was excellent, with Cronbach's alpha coefficients of 0.87 for the paper version and 0.86 for the web-based version. There was a high degree of agreement of overall scores with intraclass correlations in the paper versus paper and paper versus web-based settings: 0.95 (P?<?0.001) and 0.92 (P?<?0.001), respectively. The mean of each individual item's weighted kappa value was 0.61 in both settings.

    Conclusions The questionnaire is reliable in women with stress urinary incontinence, and it can be used in either a paper or a web-based version.

    Neurourol. Urodynam. 31:12421246, 2012. (C) 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  • 8.
    Sjöström, Malin
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Umefjord, Göran
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Lindholm, Lars
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Samuelsson, Eva
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Cost-effectiveness of an Internet-based treatment program for stress urinary incontinence2015Ingår i: Neurourology and Urodynamics, ISSN 0733-2467, E-ISSN 1520-6777, Vol. 34, nr 3, s. 244-250Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    AIMS: To perform a deterministic cost-utility analysis, from a 1-year societal perspective, of two treatment programs for stress urinary incontinence (SUI) without face-to-face contact: one Internet-based and one sent by post. The treatments were compared with each other and with no treatment.

    METHODS: We performed this economic evaluation alongside a randomized controlled trial. The study included 250 women aged 18-70, with SUI ≥ 1 time/week, who were randomized to 3 months of pelvic floor muscle training via either an Internet-based program including e-mail support from an urotherapist (n = 124) or a program sent by post (n = 126). Recruitment was web-based, and participants were self-assessed with validated questionnaires and 2-day bladder diaries, supplemented by a telephone interview with a urotherapist. Treatment costs were continuously registered. Data on participants' time for training, incontinence aids, and laundry were collected at baseline, 4 months, and 1 year. We also measured quality of life with the condition-specific questionnaire ICIQ-LUTSqol, and calculated the quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) gained. Baseline data remained unchanged for the no treatment option. Sensitivity analysis was performed.

    RESULTS: Compared to the postal program, the extra cost per QALY for the Internet-based program ranged from 200€ to 7,253€, indicating greater QALY-gains at similar or slightly higher costs. Compared to no treatment, the extra cost per QALY for the Internet-based program ranged from 10,022€ to 38,921€, indicating greater QALY-gains at higher, but probably acceptable costs.

    CONCLUSION: An Internet-based treatment for SUI is a new, cost-effective treatment alternative.

  • 9.
    Sjöström, Malin
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin.
    Umefjord, Göran
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin.
    Stenlund, Hans
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Carlbring, Per
    Andersson, Gerhard
    Samuelsson, Eva
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin.
    Internet-based treatment of stress urinary incontinence: 1- and 2-year results of a randomized controlled trial with a focus on pelvic floor muscle training.2015Ingår i: BJU International, ISSN 1464-4096, E-ISSN 1464-410X, Vol. 116, nr 6, s. 955-964Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the long-term effects of two non-face-to-face treatment programmes for stress urinary incontinence (SUI) based on pelvic floor muscle training (PFMT).

    SUBJECTS AND METHODS: The present study was a randomized controlled trial with online recruitment of 250 community-dwelling women aged 18-70 years with SUI ≥ one time/week. Diagnosis was based on validated self-assessed questionnaires, 2-day bladder diary and telephone interview with a urotherapist. Consecutive computer-generated block randomization was carried out with allocation by an independent administrator to 3 months of treatment with either an internet-based treatment programme (n = 124) or a programme sent by post (n = 126). Both interventions focused mainly on PFMT. The internet group received continuous e-mail support from a urotherapist, whereas the postal group trained on their own. Follow-up was performed after 1 and 2 years via self-assessed postal questionnaires. The primary outcomes were symptom severity (International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire Short Form [ICIQ-UI SF]) and condition-specific quality of life (ICIQ-Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms Quality of Life [ICIQ-LUTSqol]). Secondary outcomes were the Patient Global Impression of Improvement, health-specific quality of life (EQ-visual analogue scale [EQ-VAS]), use of incontinence aids, and satisfaction with treatment. There was no face-to-face contact with the participants at any time. Analysis was based on intention-to-treat.

    RESULTS: We lost 32.4% (81/250) of participants to follow-up after 1 year and 38.0% (95/250) after 2 years. With both interventions, we observed highly significant (P < 0.001) improvements with large effect sizes (>0.8) for symptoms and condition-specific quality of life (QoL) after 1 and 2 years, respectively. No significant differences were found between the groups. The mean (sd) changes in symptom score were 3.7 (3.3) for the internet group and 3.2 (3.4) for the postal group (P = 0.47) after 1 year, and 3.6 (3.5) for the internet group and 3.4 (3.3) for the postal group (P = 0.79) after 2 years. The mean changes (sd) in condition-specific QoL were 5.5 (6.5) for the internet group and 4.7 the for postal group (6.5) (P = 0.55) after 1 year, and 6.4 (6.0) for the internet group and 4.8 (7.6) for the postal group (P = 0.28) after 2 years. The proportions of participants perceiving they were much or very much improved were similar in both intervention groups after 1 year (internet, 31.9% [28/88]; postal, 33.8% [27/80], P = 0.82), but after 2 years significantly more participants in the internet group reported this degree of improvement (39.2% [29/74] vs 23.8% [19/80], P = 0.03). Health-specific QoL improved significantly in the internet group after 2 years (mean change in EQ-VAS, 3.8 [11.4], P = 0.005). We found no other significant improvements in this measure. At 1 year after treatment, 69.8% (60/86) of participants in the internet group and 60.5% (46/76) of participants in the postal group reported that they were still satisfied with the treatment result. After 2 years, the proportions were 64.9% (48/74) and 58.2% (46/79), respectively.

    CONCLUSION: Non-face-to-face treatment of SUI with PFMT provides significant and clinically relevant improvements in symptoms and condition-specific QoL at 1 and 2 years after treatment.

  • 10.
    Sjöström, Malin
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Umefjord, Göran
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Stenlund, Hans
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Epidemiologi och global hälsa.
    Carlbring, Per
    Andersson, Gerhard
    Samuelsson, Eva
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Internet-based treatment of stress urinary incontinence: a randomised controlled study with focus on pelvic floor muscle training2013Ingår i: BJU International, ISSN 1464-4096, E-ISSN 1464-410X, Vol. 112, nr 3, s. 362-372Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective To compare two treatment programmes for stress urinary incontinence (SUI) without face-to-face contact: one Internet-based and one sent by post.

    Patients and Methods Randomised, controlled trial conducted in Sweden 2009-2011. Computer-generated block-randomisation, allocation by independent administrator. No 'blinding'. The study included 250 community-dwelling women aged 18-70 years, with SUI >= 1 time/week. Consecutive online recruitment. The women had 3 months of either; (i) An Internet-based treatment programme (124 women), including e-mail support and cognitive behavioural therapy assignments or (ii) A treatment programme sent by post (126). Both programmes focused mainly on pelvic floor muscle training.

    Primary outcomes symptom-score (International Consultation on Incontinence Questionnaire Short Form, ICIQ-UI SF) and condition-specific quality of life (ICIQ-Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms Quality of Life, ICIQ-LUTSQoL).

    Secondary outcomes (i) Patient Global Impression of Improvement, (ii) Incontinence aids, (iii) Patient satisfaction, (iv) Health-specific QoL (EQ5D-Visual Analogue Scale), and (v) Incontinence episode frequency. Follow-up after 4 months via self-assessed postal questionnaires.

    Results In all, 12% (30 women) were lost to follow-up. Intention-to-treat analysis showed highly significant improvements (P < 0.001) with large effect sizes (>0.8) with both interventions, but there were no significant differences between groups in primary outcomes. The mean (SD) changes in symptom-score were: Internet 3.4 (3.4), Postal 2.9 (3.1) (P = 0.27). The mean (SD) changes in condition-specific QoL were: Internet 4.8 (6.1), Postal 4.6 (6.7) (P = 0.52). Compared with the postal-group, more participants in the Internet-group perceived they were much or very much improved (40.9% (43/105) vs 26.5% (30/113), P = 0.01), reported reduced usage of incontinence aids (59.5% (47/79) vs 41.4% (34/82), P = 0.02) and were satisfied with the treatment programme (84.8% (89/105) vs 62.9% (71/113), P < 0.001). Health-specific QoL improved in the Internet-group (mean change 3.7 (10.9), P = 0.001), but not in the postal-group (1.9 (13.0), P = 0.13). Overall, 69.8% (120/172) of participants reported complete lack of leakage or reduced number of leakage episodes by >50%.

    Conclusions Concerning primary outcomes, treatment effects were similar between groups whereas for secondary outcomes the Internet-based treatment was more effective. Internet-based treatment for SUI is a new, promising treatment alternative.

  • 11.
    Ström, Morgan
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Uckelstam, Carl-Johan
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Andersson, Gerhard
    Hassmén, Peter
    Umeå universitet, Samhällsvetenskapliga fakulteten, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Umefjord, Göran
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Carlbring, Per
    Internet-delivered therapist-guided physical activity for mild to moderate depression: a randomized controlled trial2013Ingår i: PeerJ, ISSN 2167-8359, E-ISSN 2167-8359, Vol. 1, artikel-id e178Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    Objective. The main hypothesis, and the objective of the study, was to test if the participants allocated to the treatment group would show a larger reduction in depressive symptoms than those in the control group. Methods. This study was a randomized nine week trial of an Internet-administered treatment based on guided physical exercise for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). A total of 48 participants with mild to moderate depression, diagnosed using the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV Axis I Disorders, were randomized either to a treatment intervention or to a waiting-list control group. The main outcome measure for depression was the Beck Depression Inventory-II (BDI-II), and physical activity level was measured using the International Physical Activity Questionnaire (IPAQ). The treatment program consisted of nine text modules, and included therapist guidance on a weekly basis. Results. The results showed significant reductions of depressive symptoms in the treatment group compared to the control group, with a moderate between-group effect size (Cohen's d = 0.67; 95% confidence interval: 0.09-1.25). No difference was found between the groups with regards to increase of physical activity level. For the treatment group, the reduction in depressive symptoms persisted at six months follow-up. Conclusions. Physical activity as a treatment for depression can be delivered in the form of guided Internet-based self-help.

  • 12.
    Umefjord, Göran
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin.
    Internet consultation in medicine: studies of a text-based Ask the doctor service2006Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    The overall aim of this thesis was to cast light on the new phenomenon of Internet-based medical consultation. This was approached by studies of the use of an Ask the doctor service, by a web survey to the users who sent enquiries to the service, and by a questionnaire to the answering physicians of their respective expericence of the service.

    Written communication is becoming increasingly important, not only for communication between individuals outwith health care (e.g. by email, SMS and instant messaging), but also between doctors and patients. There is an ongoing shift in the way individuals look for medical information with an increasing number going first to the Internet berfore talking with their physicians. Also, there is an increasing interest from patients in accessing Internet-based services, including text-based consultations with doctors. These consultations can be part of the regular communication between a patient and his/her doctor or be carried out without any previous relationship. Our studies of the latter consultation type emanate from the free of charge Ask the doctor service at a Swedish public health web portal, Infomedica, financed by health authorities. At the Ask the doctor service, the communication has been merely text-based and the individual using the consultation service (here called the enquirer) might have been anonymous.

    We followed the development of the first four years use of the service (38 217 enquiries), finding that the typical enquirer was a woman aged 21-60 years. Three quarters of the enquirers were women, thus exceeding the gender difference seen in regular health care. The service was used all times of the day and night, seven days a week, and it was most used in densely populated areas as defined from postal codes.

    The enquiries submitted to the service included a broad variety of medical issues. Most enquirers asked on their own behalf. Almost half of the enquiries concerned a matter not previously evaluated by a medical professional. Only a few were frequent enquirers. The service was used e.g. for a primary evaluation of a medical problem, for getting more information on a medical issue under treatment, and for a second opinion. The most common reasons for turning to a doctor on the Internet were convenience, wish for anonymity and that doctors were experinced too busy. In free text a considerable number of participants expressed discontent and communication problems with a previous doctor as a reason to turn to the Ask the doctor service. Many participants expressed a view of the service as a complement to regular health care, and the majority were satisfied with the answer. Nearly half of the participants in the web survey stated that they received sufficient information in their answer and that they would not pursue their question further.

    The family physicians answering the enquiries at the Ask the doctor service were stimulated and challenged by the new task, in spite of the limitations caused by the lack of personal meetings and physical examinations. The opportunity to reflect on the answer before replying was appreciated, and the task was regarded as having a high educational value for themselves.

    The Internet not only allows easy access to medical information but also to medical consultation – to date mostly text-based. It is probable that in the near future an increasing number of doctors will adopt text-based communication via the Internet to be a natural part of their communication with patients. Therefore, training in text-based communication and carrying out Internet consultations should be integrated into the curricula of medical schools and of continuous professional development. Ethical guidelines should be established.

  • 13.
    Umefjord, Göran
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Hamberg, Katarina
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Malker, Hans
    Mid-Sweden Research and Development Centre, County Council of Va¨ sternorrland, Sundsvall, Sweden.
    Petersson, Göran
    Health Institute, Department of Health and Behavioural Science, University of Kalmar, Sweden.
    The use of an internet-based ask the doctor service involving family physicians: evaluation by a web survey2006Ingår i: Family Practice, ISSN 0263-2136, E-ISSN 1460-2229, Vol. 23, nr 2, s. 159-166Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Internet consultation without a previous relationship between the doctor and the enquirer seems to be increasing in popularity. However, little is known about the advantages, disadvantages or other differences compared with regular health care when using this kind of service. OBJECTIVE: To investigate how an Internet-based Ask the Doctor service out with any pre-existing doctor-patient relationship was used and evaluated by the enquirers. METHODS: We recruited to a web-based survey users of the non-commercial Swedish Internet-based Ask the Doctor service run by family physicians. The survey was conducted between November 2001 and January 2002. Questions included both multiple choice and free text formats, and the results were analysed quantitatively and qualitatively. RESULTS: The survey was completed by 1223 participants. It was mainly women who submitted questions to the service (29% men, 71% women) and also who participated in the survey (26% men, 74% women). Most participants (77%) wrote their question at home, and 80% asked on their own behalf. Almost half of the enquiries (45%) concerned a medical matter that had not been evaluated by a medical professional before. After reading the answer, 43% of the participants indicated that they would not pursue their question further having received sufficient information in the answer provided. The service was appreciated for its convenience and flexibility, but also for reasons to do with the mode of communication such as the ability to reflect on the written answer without having to hurry and to read it more than once. CONCLUSION: In the present study, we found that an Internet-based Ask the Doctor service run by family physicians on the whole was evaluated positively by the participants both in terms of the answers and the service. Internet-based consultation may act as a complement to regular health care. In future studies, the cost-effectiveness, patient security, responsibilities of the Internet doctor and the role of Ask the Doctor services compared with regular health care should be evaluated.

  • 14. Umefjord, Göran
    et al.
    Malker, H
    Olofsson, N
    Hensjö, LO
    Petersson, G
    Primary care phycians’ experiences of carrying out consultations on the Internet2004Ingår i: Informatics in Primary Care, ISSN 1476-0320, E-ISSN 1475-9985, Vol. 12, nr 2, s. 85-90Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: The internet is increasingly used for health matters, including consulting a doctor. Primary care physicians (general practitioners) will probably be involved in performing text-based consultations on the internet as a complement to physical meetings. In the present study, we explored the experiences of GPs already performing consultations on the internet: the challenges, worries and educational demands of the task. MATERIALS AND METHODS: A questionnaire was given to 21 GPs performing consultations on the internet for a public, non-commercial 'ask the doctor' service. The questionnaire was carried out at a meeting or sent by mail. The doctors answered a total of 28 questions, 12 of which included graded alternatives. RESULTS: The participating GPs were stimulated and challenged by performing consultations on the internet with previously unknown enquirers, in spite of limitations caused by the lack of personal meetings and physical examinations. The participants experienced a high educational value as a result of the problem-based learning situation induced by unfamiliar questions. The asynchronous feature was appreciated as it allowed time to reflect and perform relevant information searches before replying. Prior training and long-term experience as a family doctor were recommended before embarking on this method of consultation. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that the GPs studied experienced their new role as internet doctors mainly in a positive way, with some limitations. With the increase in consultations on the internet, training in this technique should be integrated into the curricula of medical schools and of continuous professional development (CPD).

  • 15.
    Umefjord, Göran
    et al.
    Nyland Health Center, Biskopsgatan 1, SE-870 52 Nyland, Sweden.
    Petersson, Göran
    Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Lund University, Sweden.
    Hamberg, Katarina
    Umeå universitet, Medicinska fakulteten, Institutionen för folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Reasons for consulting a doctor on the Internet: Web survey of users of an Ask the Doctor service2003Ingår i: Journal of Medical Internet Research, ISSN 1438-8871, E-ISSN 1438-8871, Vol. 5, nr 4, s. e26-Artikel i tidskrift (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: In 1998 the Swedish noncommercial public health service Infomedica opened an Ask the Doctor service on its Internet portal. At no charge, anyone with Internet access can use this service to ask questions about personal health-related and disease-related matters. OBJECTIVE: To study why individuals choose to consult previously-unknown doctors on the Internet. METHODS: Between November 1, 2001, and January 31, 2002 a Web survey of the 3622 Ask the Doctor service users, 1036 men (29%) and 2586 (71%) women, was conducted. We excluded 186 queries from users. The results are based on quantitative and qualitative analysis of the answers to the question "Why did you choose to ask a question at Infomedica's 'Ask the Doctor' service?" RESULTS: 1223 surveys were completed (response rate 36 %). Of the participants in the survey 322 (26%) were male and 901 (74%) female. As major reasons for choosing to consult previously-unknown doctors on the Internet participants indicated: convenience (52%), anonymity (36%), "doctors too busy" (21%), difficult to find time to visit a doctor (16%), difficulty to get an appointment (13%), feeling uncomfortable when seeing a doctor (9%), and not being able to afford a doctors' visit (3%). Further motives elicited through a qualitative analysis of free-text answers were: seeking a second opinion, discontent with previous doctors and a wish for a primary evaluation of a medical problem, asking embarrassing or sensitive questions, seeking information on behalf of relatives, preferring written communication, and (from responses by expatriates, travelers, and others) living far away from regular health care. CONCLUSIONS: We found that that an Internet based Ask the Doctor service is primarily consulted because it is convenient, but it may also be of value for individuals with needs that regular health care services have not been able to meet.

  • 16.
    Umefjord, Göran
    et al.
    Umeå universitet, Medicinsk fakultet, Folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Sandström, Herbert
    Umeå universitet, Medicinsk fakultet, Folkhälsa och klinisk medicin, Allmänmedicin.
    Malker, Hans
    Petersson, Göran
    Medical text-based consultations on the Internet: a 4-year study.2008Ingår i: International Journal of Medical Informatics, ISSN 1386-5056, E-ISSN 1872-8243, ISSN 1386-5056, Vol. 77, nr 2, s. 114-121Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: The Internet is increasingly used for health matters including Ask the doctor services. AIM: To describe users and usage pattern of text-based medical consultation with family physicians on the Internet. METHODS: Descriptive analysis of the first 4 years' use of a Swedish Ask the doctor service concerning number of inquiries, age and gender of inquirers. Time of day and week, types of medical inquiries, and use in relation to population density was analyzed during the last year of the study. RESULTS: We found a considerable number of users, with 38,217 inquiries submitted to the service. Three-fourths of the inquirers were women, thus exceeding the gender difference seen in regular health care. The typical user was a woman aged 21-60 years. The service was used any time day or night, 7 days a week. Almost half of the inquiries were submitted during evenings and nights. Most areas of medicine were represented in the inquiries, reflecting the fact that there was no control of what an inquiry should include. The use was widespread over the country but more frequent per capita in more densely populated areas as defined by postal code. CONCLUSION: In the study of a service for text-based consultations with family physicians on the Internet, we found a geographically widely distributed use, slowly but gradually increasing during a 4-year period. The use increased more rapidly among young and middle-aged women. Asynchronous text-based consultation is likely to expand in the near future.

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