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Evaluation of Young Adults' Preferences, Needs, and the Understandability of the Personal Health Record Data Contents

Alkhatlan, Haya (2010) Evaluation of Young Adults' Preferences, Needs, and the Understandability of the Personal Health Record Data Contents. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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This research study examines Personal Health Records (PHRs), focusing on the issues of data contents from the end users' perspectives. The study evaluates the understandability of the Continuity of Care Record (CCR) standard terminology currently used in PHR system and explores users' preferences and needs for data contents.PHRs are becoming an increasingly important and popular means of enabling individuals to have more direct and stronger ownership and management of their health information. One of the potential barriers to the PHRs adoption is the usability of the system, particularly the fact that PHR data contents contain difficult terminology and does not meet the users' needs and preferences. A review of currently available PHR systems shows that vendors are trying to design a comprehensive PHRs primarily based on data contents from the health providers' perspectives, especially the CCR standard. However, this comprehensive data set may be neither suitable nor appealing to most individuals with a busy schedule. Therefore, this research aims at identifying the needs and preferences of the primary users of PHRs with the ultimate goal of designing a user-friendly PHR system that caters to the specific and individual needs of a healthy young adult population.  A mixed-method of qualitative and quantitative research in the form of an exploratory-descriptive study was conducted to examine the individual's needs in terms of PHR contents and terminology. Data was collected through an in-depth, semi-structured interview. Furthermore, a qualitative review study was conducted to identify each data element in the currently available free and for-purchase PHR systems and compare those with the CCR. The PHR included in this study were randomly chosen from the list of PHR tools and services available at The results of this research provide insight for PHR developers, enabling them to better design and tailor PHR technology in order to fulfill the needs and desires of each specific individual group and subgroup. A PHR system tailored to the user's individualized needs will serve to make the user feel more comfortable using and maintaining it, and then could lead to wider adoption of PHR within the population.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairParmanto, Bambangparmanto@pitt.eduPARMANTO
Committee CoChairWatzlaf, Valerievalgeo@pitt.eduVALGEO
Committee MemberRubinstein, Elaineenr@pitt.eduENR
Committee MemberRohrer, WesleyWMRUN@pitt.eduWMRUN
Date: 19 August 2010
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 17 May 2010
Approval Date: 19 August 2010
Submission Date: 1 July 2010
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences > Rehabilitation Science
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Doctoral Dissertation
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Medical Records; Personal Electronic Health Records; Personal Health Services; Personal Medical Records
Other ID:, etd-07012010-165934
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:49
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:45


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