Internet-based technology in multiple sclerosis: Exploring perceived use and skills and actual performance.

Yael Goverover, Brocha Z. Stern, Amy Hurst, John DeLuca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


OBJECTIVE: The use of Internet-based technology (IBT) is an important component of everyday living. However, persons with multiple sclerosis (MS) may face barriers to use. This study aimed to compare IBT perceived use and skills and actual performance in persons with MS and healthy controls (HCs). In addition, it aimed to examine IBT perceptions as a unique predictor of IBT performance beyond demographic, cognitive, motor, and affective factors in persons with MS.

METHOD: Ninety-six persons with MS and 65 HCs aged 18 to 65 completed self-report and performance-based IBT measures along with assessments of cognition, motor function, and affect at a single time point.

RESULTS: The MS group reported perceptions of less IBT use and poorer skills than HCs and demonstrated worse IBT performance as per accuracy and speed on the Actual Reality. In persons with MS, IBT perceptions and performance were significantly associated. Cognition and dexterity were significantly associated with IBT performance, and anxiety was associated with IBT perceptions. Disease duration, processing speed, and IBT perceptions were unique predictors of IBT performance in the MS group within a multivariate model.

CONCLUSION: Persons with MS present with poorer IBT performance compared with HCs, which can limit participation. Processing speed and patient perceptions of IBT use and skills should be considered in technology design and training to improve the capabilities of persons with MS to use IBT for everyday living. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2021 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-77
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2021


  • Internet
  • activities of daily living
  • cognition
  • perceptions
  • processing speed
  • technology
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Multiple Sclerosis/psychology
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Male
  • Reaction Time
  • Cognition
  • Affect
  • Young Adult
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Anxiety/psychology
  • Motor Skills
  • Activities of Daily Living/psychology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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