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Profiles of Web-based Portal Users with Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Noureldin M, Newman KL, Higgins PDR, Piette JD, Resnicow K, Louissaint J, Kenney B, Berinstein J, Waljee AK, Zhu J, Cohen-Mekelburg S. Profiles of Web-based Portal Users with Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. 2024 Jan 5; 30(1):83-89.

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BACKGROUND: Web-based portals can enhance communication between patients and providers to support IBD self-management and improve care. We aimed to identify portal use patterns of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) to inform future web portal-based interventions and portal design. METHODS: Patients with IBD receiving care at the University of Michigan between 2012 and 2021 were identified. Meta-data from electronic logs of each patient''s most recent year of portal use were abstracted. Portal engagement was characterized in terms of intensity (ie, frequency of use); comprehensiveness (ie, number of portal functions used); and duration (ie, quarters per year of portal use). We used k-means clustering, a machine-learning technique, to identify groupings of portal users defined in terms of engagement features. RESULTS: We found 5605 patients with IBD who had accessed their portal account at least once. The average age was 41.2 years (SD 16.7), 3035 (54.2%) were female, and 2214 (39.5%) received immune-targeted therapies. We identified 3 patterns of portal engagement: (1) low intensity users (29.5%); (2) moderate intensity, comprehensive, and sustained users (63.3%); and (3) high intensity, comprehensive, sustained users (7.2%). Patients with more intense, comprehensive, and sustained use of the portal were older, female, with more comorbidities, and were more likely to receive immune-targeted therapies. CONCLUSION: Understanding distinct patterns of portal use can inform portal-based interventions and portal design. Patient portals may be particularly helpful in delivering assistance to those with comorbidities and those receiving immune-targeted therapies-many of whom demonstrate more intense, comprehensive, and sustained portal use.

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