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Papers of the Week

2021 Nov 28

Int J Environ Res Public Health



Electronic Health Literacy in Individuals with Chronic Pain and Its Association with Psychological Function.


Castarlenas E, Sánchez-Rodríguez E, Roy R, Tomé-Pires C, Solé E, Jensen MP, Miró J
Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2021 Nov 28; 18(23).
PMID: 34886254.


Electronic health literacy skills and competences are important for empowering people to have an active role in making appropriate health care decisions. The aims of this cross-sectional study were to (1) examine the frequency of use of the Internet for seeking online information about chronic pain, (2) determine the level of eHealth literacy skills in the study sample, (3) identify the factors most closely associated with higher levels of eHealth literacy, and (4) examine self-efficacy as a potential mediator of the association between eHealth literacy and measures of pain and function in a sample of adults with chronic pain. One-hundred and sixty-one adults with chronic pain completed measures assessing internet use, eHealth literacy, pain interference, anxiety, depression, and pain-related self-efficacy. Results indicated that 70% of the participants are active users of the Internet for seeking information related to their health. The level of eHealth literacy skills was not statistically significantly associated with participants' age or pain interference but was significantly negatively associated with both anxiety and depression. In addition, the findings showed that self-efficacy fully explained the relationship between eHealth literacy and depression and partially explained the relationship between eHealth literacy and anxiety. Self-efficacy should be considered as a treatment target in eHealth literacy interventions, due to its role in explaining the potential benefits of eHealth literacy.