Consumer Adoption of Personal Health Record Systems: A Self-Determination Theory Perspective
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BACKGROUND: Personal Health Records (PHR) systems provide individuals with access and control over their health information and consequently can support individuals in becoming active participants, rather than passive recipients, in their own care process. In spite of numerous benefits suggested for consumers' utilizing PHR systems, research has shown that such systems are not yet widely adopted or well known to consumers. Bearing in mind the potential benefits of PHRs to consumers and their potential interest in these systems-and that similar to any other type of information system, adoption is a prerequisite for realizing the potential benefits of PHR systems-research is needed to understand how to enhance the adoption rates for PHR systems. OBJECTIVE: This research seeks to understand how individuals' intentions to adopt PHR systems are affected by their self-determination in managing their own health-the extent of their ability to take an active role in managing their own health. As such, this research aims to develop and empirically validate a theoretical model that explains PHR systems adoption by the general public through the integration of theories from the information systems and psychology literatures. METHODS: This research employs a cross-sectional survey method targeted at the Canadian general public without any prior experience in using PHR systems. A partial least squares approach to structural equation modeling was used to validate the proposed research model of this study (N=159). RESULTS: Individuals with higher levels of ability to manage their own health (self-determination) are more likely to adopt PHR systems since they have more positive perceptions regarding the use of such systems. Further, such self-determination is fueled by autonomy support from consumers' physicians as well as the consumers' personality trait of autonomy orientation. CONCLUSIONS: This study advances our theoretical understanding of PHR systems adoption. It also contributes to practice by providing insightful implications for designing, promoting, and facilitating the use of PHR systems among consumers.
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