Applying and Extending the FITT Framework to Identify the Challenges and Opportunities of Successful eHealth Services for Patient Self-Management: Qualitative Interview Study

Sari Kujala, Elske Ammenwerth, Heta Kolanen, Minna Ervast

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: The number of public eHealth services that support patient self-management is rapidly increasing. However, the implementation of these eHealth services for self-management has encountered challenges. OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this paper was to analyze the challenges and opportunities of implementing eHealth services for self-management by focusing on the fit between the technical solution and clinical use. METHODS: We performed in-depth interviews with 10 clinical project coordinators and managers who were responsible for developing and implementing various eHealth services for self-management interventions in five university hospitals in Finland. The results were analyzed using content analysis and open coding. The Fit between Individuals, Task, and Technology (FITT) framework was used to interpret the findings. RESULTS: The implementation of self-management services involved many challenges related to technical problems, health professional acceptance, patient motivation, and health organization and management. The implementers identified practices to manage the identified challenges, including improving the design of the technology, supporting health professionals in the adoption of the eHealth services, changing the work processes and tasks, involving patients, and collectively planning the implementation inside an organization. The findings could be mostly attributed to the dimensions of the FITT framework. CONCLUSIONS: The FITT framework helped to analyze the challenges related to the implementation, and most of them were related to poor fit. The importance of patients as stakeholders in eHealth services for patient self-management needs to be highlighted. Thus, we propose that patients should be added as a different type of individual dimension to the FITT framework. In addition, the framework could be extended to include organization and management in a new context dimension.

Original languageEnglish
Article number17696
Pages (from-to)e17696
Number of pages13
JournalJOURNAL OF MEDICAL INTERNET RESEARCH
Volume22
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Aug 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • adoption
  • implementation
  • interview
  • organization
  • patient self-management

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