Skip to main content

Anna Stolyar

Graduated: January 1, 2011

Thesis/Dissertation Title:

A Study of Low-Income Health Care Consumers: Motivations for Using Electronic Personal Health Record Systems

Health care consumers have different motivations and needs for managing their detailed medical history as well as health information to support their healthcare-related decisions. Electronic Personal Health Record systems are a form of tool that helps health care consumers collect, manage and use their health information. Despite the fact that many types of PHR systems have become available to various groups of consumers, the motivations to utilize PHRs and the barriers to widespread adoption have proven difficult to measure. In this research, I explore and define the factors that motivate individuals’ decisions on whether to adopt a PHR system.
I chose a grounded-theory-based qualitative methodology to identify and explore these factors in a setting where a PHR had been available for one and a half to three years to a group of low-income individuals. Demographics of this group included elderly and disabled individuals, many of whom had multiple co-morbidities that result in complex health information management needs.
The end results of this work are two frameworks created from the health care consumer or patient-driven perspective. (1) The Levels of Interest in Health Information Management Framework (LIHIMF) can be used to categorize potential adopters to help create personas and tailored approaches to designing and implementing PHR systems. This framework describes three types of potential PHR adopters by their willingness to manage their health information or use a PHR. (2) The Health Information Management Motivational Factors Framework (HIMMFF) is a comprehensive framework of issues that contribute to PHR adoption. Factors that motivate or discourage adoption as described by both PHR users and non-users are grouped into seven categories. These frameworks can be used by the PHR and health information management research community to better understand and further study PHR adoption.
This work contributes an approach to understanding patient information management needs from the patient-driven perspective. Furthermore, it advances our understanding of how information systems impact health information management in underserved populations.


Michael Eisenberg (Co-Chair), Wanda Pratt (Co-Chair), Nicholas R. Anderson, Donna L. Berry, Brenda Zierler (GSR)