The health literacy demands of electronic personal health records

Article title: The health literacy demands of electronic personal health records (e-PHRs): an integrative review to inform future inclusive research.

Aims: This review aimed to integrate findings in peer-reviewed research to understand the health literacy demand imposed by electronic personal health records (ePHRs) for both patients and providers. The findings were integrated using a synthesis of three theoretical models.

Results: We included 24 peer-reviewed articles reporting on a wide range of health literacy demands of ePHRs. Three key demands of e-PHRs were identified:

  • Health condition-related demands – the signs, symptoms, features and impairments associated with health conditions
  • Activity and environment demands – stemming from knowledge of health and e-health technology, education and learning of health and technology, receptive language skills and understanding, and support
  • Personal demands – including emotions, attitudes, competence and confidence.

The reviewed studies were limited in their recognition and inclusion of participants with physical, cognitive, sensory, or communicative impairments, despite recognising that skills in each of these areas were necessary for full access to the e-PHRs.

Implications: High health literacy demands of e-PHRs may prevent many patients from adopting and accessing these tools. Strategies are needed to support all patients to used e-PHR systems by improving patient health literacy, and by lowering the demands of these systems.

Our onward queries: How do the high health literacy demands of e-PHRs affect adoption and use by people with communication disabilities? What strategies can be implemented to support this population?

Full reference of article

Hemsley, B., Rollo, M., Georgiou, A., Balandin, S., & Hill, S. (2017). The health literacy demands of electronic personal health records (e-PHRs): an integrative review to inform future inclusive research. Patient Education and Counseling, [early online]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pec.2017.07.010

Link to article: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0738399117304238

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