Family practice
Alternate Journal
Fam Pract

BACKGROUND: mHealth apps potentially improve health care delivery and patient outcomes, but the uptake of mHealth in primary care is challenging, especially in low-middle-income countries.

OBJECTIVE: To measure factors associated with mHealth adoption among primary care physicians (PCPs) in Malaysia.

METHODS: A cross-sectional study using a self-administered questionnaire was conducted among PCPs. The usage of mHealth apps by the PCPs has divided into the use of mHealth apps to support PCPs' clinical work and recommendation of mHealth apps for patient's use. Factors associated with mHealth adoption were analysed using multivariable logistic regression.

RESULTS: Among 217 PCPs in the study, 77.0% used mHealth apps frequently for medical references, 78.3% medical calculation and 30.9% interacting with electronic health records (EHRs). Only 22.1% of PCPs frequently recommended mHealth apps to patients for tracking health information, 22.1% patient education and 14.3% use as a medical device. Performance expectancy and facilitating conditions were associated with mHealth use for medical references. Family medicine trainees, working in a government practice and performance expectancy were the facilitators for the use of mHealth apps for medical calculation. Internet connectivity, performance expectancy and use by colleagues were associated with the use of mHealth with EHR. Performance expectancy was associated with mHealth apps' recommendation to patients to track health information and provide patient education.

CONCLUSIONS: PCPs often used mHealth apps to support their clinical work but seldom recommended mHealth apps to their patients. Training for PCPs is needed on the appraisal and knowledge of the mHealth apps for patient use.

Lim HM, Dunn AG, Ooi SMF, Teo CH, Abdullah A, Woo WJ, Ng CJ. mHealth adoption among primary care physicians in Malaysia and its associated factors: a cross-sectional study. Family practice. 2020. doi:10.1093/fampra/cmaa103.