Older adults with dementia diagnosis are as likely to be registered for a patient portal as those without dementia, and they have a lower portal activity metric, according to a research letter published online June 26 in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Kelly T. Gleason, Ph.D., R.N., from the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing in Baltimore, and colleagues examined older adult patient portal interactions by receipt and timing of dementia diagnosis at a large academic health system. The cohort included 49,382 patients; 6.4 percent had diagnosed dementia.
The researchers found that individuals with dementia were as likely to be registered for the patient portal as those without dementia (71.2 versus 71.5 percent) but were more likely to have a registered care partner with shared access to their account (10.4 versus 3.3 percent).
A lower portal activity metric (ratio of number of portal sessions to number of clinical encounters) was seen for persons with versus without a dementia diagnosis (3.88 versus 5.35), but they were as likely to be a portal user (65.5 versus 65.8 percent) and a similar number of messages were sent from their portal account (28.77 versus 29.14).
For patients with versus without a dementia diagnosis, more portal messages originated from registered care partners (19.50 versus 13.85). In the 12 months after versus before dementia diagnosis, the portal activity metric was significantly higher (3.34 versus 2.02). In addition, the monthly number of messages sent and number of sessions were also higher (4.31 versus 3.32 and 6.54 versus 4.17, respectively).
“The results highlight the need to better support all patients, including those who desire or rely on care partners, through consumer-oriented health information technologies,” the authors write.
Kelly T. Gleason et al, Patient Portal Use Among Older Adults With Dementia Diagnosis, JAMA Internal Medicine (2023). DOI: 10.1001/jamainternmed.2023.1568
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