An Executive Summary of Chronic Disease and the Internet
Thirty-six percent of adults in the U.S. are affected by chronic disease and thirteen percent manage two or more chronic diseases. Adults managing chronic disease correspond disproportionately to healthy adults utilization of technology, including use of the internet. Unfortunately, chronic disease has a negative effect on access and use of technology including internet use, although the internet offers a wealth of reliable medical advice, evidence-based research, management resources, and coping support.
A research project by Susannah Fox, Associate Director, Digital Strategy, and Kristen Purcell, Associate Director, Research, Pew Internet & American Life Project studied adults managing chronic disease and their access of the internet and modern technology. The 2008 project, conducted nationally via telephone survey, addressed five of the most common chronic diseases including hypertension, pulmonary, cardiac, diabetes, and cancer.
Internet use is disproportionate in adults managing chronic disease compared to healthy adults. After applying demographic factors including race, education, and economic status, results consistently find that chronic disease has a negative effect on access and use of technology including internet use. Almost 13% fewer adults living with one chronic disease report accessing the internet compared to their healthy counterparts. Those managing multiple chronic diseases reported even less technology use. When compared to healthy adults without chronic disease, those managing two or more chronic diseases:
• 29% fewer adults living with two or more chronic diseases use the internet.
• 26% fewer adults with multiple chronic issues have wireless access
• 19% fewer have a cell phone and 37% fewer use text messaging
Those managing chronic disease who reported internet use were less likely than those without chronic conditions to utilize the technology for...