Age, education and income level are not accurate indicators of patients' willingness to adopt personal health records, according to a study published in the journal Perspectives in Health Information Management, FierceHealthIT reports.
For the study, researchers from the University of Central Florida surveyed 562 patients at a physician practice that was considering offering PHRs.
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.
Findings Related to Demographics
The study found that 74% of surveyed patients expressed willingness to use a PHR (Hall, FierceHealthIT, 10/15). It also found that:
- Among respondents ages 56 through 70, 73% said they would use a PHR (Noblin et al., Perspectives in Health Information Management, Fall 2012);
- Among respondents with a high school education or less, 71% said they would use a PHR; and
- Among respondents 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, according to FierceHealthIT.
Findings Related to Health Literacy
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 found that:
- 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).