An Empirical Examination of the Importance of Defining the PHR for Research and for Practice
Corey M. Angst
University of Notre Dame
University of Maryland - Robert H. Smith School of Business
University of Maryland - Decision and Information Technologies Department
Robert H. Smith School Research Paper No. RHS-06-011
Recent discourse surrounding PHRs conflates definitions of the technology and confuses both novices and experts. This matter assumes critical importance when research subjects are asked to respond to questionnaires in which the specific definition of the PHR is not given. We conducted this study to demonstrate that people have very different mental models of what a PHR represents and this affects their attitudes related to privacy and choice of specific PHR forms.
Using data collected from a survey of both HIT stakeholders and a general population, we conduct descriptive and statistical analyses to demonstrate that various conceptualizations of PHRs exist. We use regression analysis and analysis of variance to test our hypotheses.
We find that the nature of concerns regarding privacy and security of PHRs differ based on the individual's prior knowledge about and involvement with PHRs. We find that education influences choices regarding the type of PHR form-factor preferred but age does not. Beliefs are also dependent on the source of distribution of the PHR and as trust in an entity declines, consumers' choices regress towards isolated PHRs such as paper- or home PC-based solutions.
This study demonstrates that research related to PHRs must be very explicit in terms of defining the type of PHR. It also provides evidence of relationships between demographic characteristics leading to variations in PHR beliefs and choices. This work highlights some pitfalls of conducting research on PHRs and also presents new evidence about people's perceptions of PHRs. This study can be informative for both the design of PHRs and also for policy makers by surfacing barriers to adoption which could potentially slow the diffusion of this technology.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 24
Keywords: PHR, EHR, Personal Health Record, Electronic Health Record, Beliefs, Attitudes
Date posted: May 26, 2006