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Challenges Experienced by Saudi Patients With Cancer and Their Family Caregivers in Using Digital Healthcare Technology Platforms in the COVID-19 Pandemic.

COVID-19 has provided a unique boost to the use of digital healthcare technology, putting many vulnerable people at risk of digital exclusion. To promote digital healthcare equity, it is important to identify the challenges that may inhibit cancer patients and family caregivers from benefiting from such technology. This study explored the challenges that cancer patients and family caregivers experience in using digital healthcare technology platforms during the COVID-19 pandemic. A qualitative descriptive study using face-to-face semistructured individual interviews was carried out. A purposive sample of 21 participants was recruited from a public cancer hospital in Saudi Arabia. Qualitative content analysis with an inductive approach was utilized. The factors that challenged the ability of participants to benefit from digital healthcare technology were similar. Four themes related to the challenges the two groups experienced emerged: access to platforms, use of platforms for cancer health-related purposes, attitudes toward these platforms, and individual user preferences. This study identified numerous areas for improvement regarding digital healthcare technology platform implementation, which could increase future benefits and equal use. This study's findings also provide useful information to investigators who intend to create digital nursing interventions for both groups amid COVID-19 and other worldwide health crises.

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