Use of the internet and an online personal health record system by US veterans: Comparison of Veterans Affairs mental health service users and other veterans nationally

VA New England Mental Illness Research, Education, and Clinical Center, West Haven, Connecticut, USA.
Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association (Impact Factor: 3.5). 07/2012; 19(6):1089-94. DOI: 10.1136/amiajnl-2012-000971
Source: PubMed


The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) operates one of the largest nationwide healthcare systems and is increasing use of internet technology, including development of an online personal health record system called My HealtheVet. This study examined internet use among veterans in general and particularly use of online health information among VA patients and specifically mental health service users.
A nationally representative sample of 7215 veterans from the 2010 National Survey of Veterans was used. Logistic regression was employed to examine background characteristics associated with internet use and My HealtheVet.
71% of veterans reported using the internet and about a fifth reported using My HealtheVet. Veterans who were younger, more educated, white, married, and had higher incomes were more likely to use the internet. There was no association between background characteristics and use of My HealtheVet. Mental health service users were no less likely to use the internet or My HealtheVet than other veterans.
Most veterans are willing to access VA information online, although many VA service users do not use My HealtheVet, suggesting more education and research is needed to reduce barriers to its use.
Although adoption of My HealtheVet has been slow, the majority of veterans, including mental health service users, use the internet and indicate a willingness to receive and interact with health information online.

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    • "Included studies employed a range of approaches for understanding barriers to PHR use (see Appendix A). Forty-five articles focused exclusively on patient work systems (McInnes et al., 2013; Tjora et al., 2005; Ancker et al., 2011; Burke et al., 2010; Day and Gu, 2012; Goel et al., 2011; Gu and Day, 2013; Guy et al., 2012; Hess et al., 2007; Kahn et al., 2010; Kim et al., 2009; Krist et al., 2011; Lau et al., 2013a Lau et al., , 2013b Lau et al., , 2013c Lober et al., 2006; Mayberry et al., 2011; Miller et al., 2007; Nagykaldi et al., 2012; Nielsen et al., 2012; Osborn et al., 2013; Sarkar et al., 2010 Sarkar et al., , 2011 Schnipper et al., 2008; Tsai et al., 2012; Tuil et al., 2006; Vodicka et al., 2013; Wade-Vuturo et al., 2013; Wagner et al., 2012 Wagner et al., , 2010 Wang et al., 2004; Weingart et al., 2006; Wen et al., 2010; Wiljer et al., 2010; Zickmund et al., 2008; Zulman et al., 2011; Emani et al., 2012; Nazi, 2010; Nazi et al., 2013; Wald et al., 2009; Tenforde et al., 2012; Denton, 2001; Goldner et al., 2013; Gordon et al., 2012; Lin et al., 2005), three exclusively on provider work systems (Crotty et al., 2013; Wynia et al., 2011; Fuji et al., 2008), two exclusively on caregiver work systems (Byczkowski et al., 2014; Britto et al., 2013), seven on patient and provider work systems (Nazi, 2013; Urowitz et al., 2012; Wald et al., 2010; Earnest et al., 2004; Jung et al., 2011; Do et al., 2011; Poon et al., 2007 ), two on patient and caregiver work systems (Tom et al., 2012; Weitzman et al., 2012), and one on patient, provider, and caregiver work systems (Woods et al., 2013). Sample sizes ranged from 10 to 100,617. "
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