Patients reading their medical records: differences in experiences and attitudes between regular and inexperienced readers

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

Information Research, Volume 21, Number 1 (2016)

URL:

http://www.informationr.net/ir/21-1/paper706.html

Abstract:

Introduction. We report results of a study of how ordering and reading of printouts of medical records by regular and inexperienced readers relate to how the records are used, to the health information practices of patients, and to their expectations of the usefulness of new e-Health services and online access to medical records. Method. The study is based on a combined postal- and Web-survey of a simple random sample of 1000 patients who ordered a paper copy of their medical records from the Uppsala county council (Sweden) with a final analysed sample of 354 returned questionnaires. Analysis. The data were analysed using SPSS 21.0 using descriptive statistics, one-way analysis of variation (ANOVA) using Tamhanes T2 test, chi-squared tests and logistic regression analysis. Results. The analysis shows that individuals who had ordered a copy of their medical records in the past perceive their usefulness in broader terms than first-timers. The regular readers are also most concerned about their health and the quality of care. Conclusions. It seems that in addition to certain demographic factors, many of the variations in the data can be explained in terms of adaptive structuration theory. This is a result of a parallel structuration of patients, medical records and the paper-based and online technologies of access, and consequently how patients perceive records and the different methods of accessing and using them.

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