Study: Willingness To Use PHRs Not Linked to Age, Education, Income

October 18, 2012
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iHealthBeat reports that age, education and income level are not accurate indicators of patients’ willingness to adopt personal health records. The eight-question surveys aimed to evaluate patients’ perceived ability to:

iHealthBeat reports that age, education and income level are not accurate indicators of patients’ willingness to adopt personal health records. The eight-question surveys aimed to evaluate patients’ perceived ability to:

  • Access health information online;
  • Understand their medical information; and
  • Use their online data to make health care decisions

Of those surveyed, 74% of patients are willing to use a PHR.  Additionally, among respondents:

  • Ages 56 through 70, 73% said they would use a PHR
  • With a high school education or less, 71% said they would use a PHR; and
  • Earning less than $20,000 annually, 75% said they would use a PHR.

The findings do not support the idea that older, less educated and lower-income patients would be less willing to adopt PHRs than other patients.  However, the study did identify differences between patients who were willing to use PHRs and those who said they would not use the tools. It finds:

  • 76% of patients who were willing to use PHRs said they knew how to use the Internet to answer health questions, compared with 48% of patients who were not interested in PHRs;
  • 72% of patients who were willing to use PHRs said they knew how to use health information found online, compared with 41% of patients who were not interested in PHRs; and
  • 50% of patients who were willing to use PHRs said they could tell the difference between high-quality and low-quality online health resources, compared with 24% of patients who were not interested in PHRs (FierceHealthIT, 10/15).

Read the full study results published in Perspectives in Health Information Management, Fall 2012.

Some related thoughts on the elderly and apps comes from Neil Versel and impressions from the recent Health 2.0 conference

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