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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 12  |  Page : 6068-6072

The use of mobile application in primary health care in Saudi Arabia: A cross-sectional study

1 College of Medicine, King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
2 College of Medicine, King Saud University, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
3 King Abdulaziz Medical City, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Mohammed A Alrowaily
King Abdulaziz Medical City (KAMC), King Saud bin Abdulaziz University for Health Sciences, Riyadh
Saudi Arabia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_1568_20

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Background: Technology implantation, for example, smartphone application, in primary health care (PHC) is an approach to enhance healthcare services via availability and convenient access. This study described the factors contributing for not booking an appointment using the mobile application, and why patients visit PHC physicians. Method: This is a cross-sectional study that included 477 participants who visited the PHC physicians. Eligible subjects who present in the patients' waiting area were asked to participate by giving them a self-administered questionnaire. Results: With a total of 477 participants' appointments, 83.5% (N = 398) of them were booked through the mobile application. Out of 398, 54.6% (N = 217) were not booked by the patients themselves. The most common reasons for the visits were follow-up (38.8%), lab/imaging results (34%), and acute complaint (27.3%). Gender, age, and the number of comorbidities the patient has were significantly associated with those who didn't book the appointment by themselves through the mobile application (P-value <0.001). Males were more likely to book for themselves than females. The average age for patients who booked for themselves through the mobile application was significantly low (Mean = 39.4, SD = 14.5). Those who were able to book for themselves had a lower number of comorbidities. Conclusion: Age, gender, and number of comorbidities were significant factors contributing to not to book an appointment/use mobile application by the patients themselves. The mobile application might cause difficulties and influence the appointment booking process. The application should be expanded throughout the country with further modification to meet the patient's needs.

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