Patient perspectives on tablet-based technology to collect risk factor information in primary care

Thumbnail Image
Kosowan, Leanne
Katz, Alan
Halas, Gayle
Singer, Alexander
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Abstract Background Primary care provides an opportunity to introduce prevention strategies and identify risk behaviours. Algorithmic information technology such as the Risk Factor Identification Tool (RFIT) can support primary care counseling. This study explores the integration of the tablet-based RFIT in primary care clinics to support exploration of patient risk factor information. Methods Qualitative study to explore patients’ perspectives of RFIT. RFIT was implemented in two primary care clinics in Manitoba, Canada. There were 207 patients who completed RFIT, offered to them by eight family physicians. We conducted one-on-one patient interviews with 86 patients to capture the patient’s perspective. Responses were coded and categorized into five common themes. Results RFIT had a completion rate of 86%. Clinic staff reported that very few patients declined the use of RFIT or required assistance to use the tablet. Patients reported that the tablet-based RFIT provided a user-friendly interface that enabled self-reflection while in the waiting room. Patients discussed the impact of RFIT on the patient-provider interaction, utility for the clinician, their concerns and suggested improvements for RFIT. Among the patients who used RFIT 12.1% smoked, 21.2% felt their diet could be improved, 9.3% reported high alcohol consumption, 56.4% reported less than 150 min of PA a week, and 8.2% lived in poverty. Conclusion RFIT is a user-friendly tool for the collection of patient risk behaviour information. RFIT is particularly useful for patients lacking continuity in the care they receive. Information technology can promote self-reflection while providing useful information to the primary care clinician. When combined with practical tools and resources RFIT can assist in the reduction of risk behaviours.
BMC Family Practice. 2021 May 26;22(1):103