Computer skills in patients with movement disorders.
BACKGROUND: Electronic communication is important in healthcare, but the level of computer proficiency among patients with neurological disorders is unknown.
OBJECTIVE: This study sought to determine the proportion of a movement disorder clinic population that was able to perform basic computer skills, and the effect of specific cognitive and motor features on computer proficiency.
METHODS: One hundred and four movement disorder patients participated. Seventy-four completed both paper and computerized questionnaires to evaluate data entry skills and thirty subjects completed paper questionnaires only. Basic e-mail messaging and Internet skills were evaluated. Demographic information, Mini-Mental Status Examination (MMSE) score, and Hoehn and Yahr stage were assessed.
RESULTS: Ninety-six percent of subjects successfully completed computerized data entry tasks, and over 70% completed e-mail and Internet tasks. Computer data entry had an average accuracy of nearly 95% when compared to paper data entry. Poorer performance on computer tasks was associated with older age, less education, and cognitive impairment. Computer performance was reduced in subjects with a history of parkinsonism and when both tremor and dyskinesia were present during task performance. Nearly three-quarters of subjects have access to a computer. Subjects who completed the paper questionnaire but refused to complete the computer questionnaire were older, less educated and more cognitively impaired.
CONCLUSION: The majority of patients visiting a tertiary movement disorders center were able to perform computer data entry, e-mail messaging and Internet usage. These results reinforce the potential value of electronic communication and information systems in neurology practice.
Published In/Presented At
Beck, H., Shulman, L. M., Dusaj, R., Anderson, K. E., & Weiner, W. J. (2005). Computer skills in patients with movement disorders. Parkinsonism & related disorders, 11(7), 421–426. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.parkreldis.2005.04.008
Medicine and Health Sciences
Department of Medicine