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Article
Publication date: 18 November 2019

Jonas Tana, Emil Eirola and Kristina Eriksson-Backa

This paper brings focus and attention to the aspect of time within health information behaviour. The purpose of this paper is to critically assess and present strengths…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper brings focus and attention to the aspect of time within health information behaviour. The purpose of this paper is to critically assess and present strengths and weaknesses of utilising the infodemiology approach and metrics as a novel way to examine temporal variations and patterns of online health information behaviour. The approach is shortly exemplified by presenting empirical evidence for temporal patterns of health information behaviour on different time-scales.

Design/methodology/approach

A short review of online health information behaviour is presented and methodological barriers to studying the temporal nature of this behaviour are emphasised. To exemplify how the infodemiology approach and metrics can be utilised to examine temporal patterns, and to test the hypothesis of existing rhythmicity of health information behaviour, a brief analysis of longitudinal data from a large discussion forum is analysed.

Findings

Clear evidence of robust temporal patterns and variations of online health information behaviour are shown. The paper highlights that focussing on time and the question of when people engage in health information behaviour can have significant consequences.

Practical implications

Studying temporal patterns and trends for health information behaviour can help in creating optimal interventions and health promotion campaigns at optimal times. This can be highly beneficial for positive health outcomes.

Originality/value

A new methodological approach to study online health information behaviour from a temporal perspective, a phenomenon that has previously been neglected, is presented. Providing evidence for rhythmicity can complement existing epidemiological data for a more holistic picture of health and diseases, and their behavioural aspects.

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 71 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 19 February 2021

Isto Huvila, Åsa Cajander, Jonas Moll, Heidi Enwald, Kristina Eriksson-Backa and Hanife Rexhepi

Data from a national patient survey (N = 1,155) of the Swedish PAEHR “Journalen” users were analysed, and an extended version of the theory of technological frames was…

Abstract

Purpose

Data from a national patient survey (N = 1,155) of the Swedish PAEHR “Journalen” users were analysed, and an extended version of the theory of technological frames was developed to explain the variation in the technological and informational framing of information technologies found in the data.

Design/methodology/approach

Patient Accessible Electronic Health Records (PAEHRs) are implemented globally to address challenges with an ageing population. However, firstly, little is known about age-related variation in PAEHR use, and secondly, user perceptions of the PAEHR technology and the health record information and how the technology and information–related perceptions are linked to each other. The purpose of this study is to investigate these two under-studied aspects of PAEHRs and propose a framework based on the theory of technological frames to support studying the second aspect, i.e. the interplay of information and technology–related perceptions.

Findings

The results suggest that younger respondents were more likely to be interested in PAEHR contents for general interest. However, they did not value online access to the information as high as older ones. Older respondents were instead inclined to use medical records information to understand their health condition, prepare for visits, become involved in their own healthcare and think that technology has a much potential. Moreover, the oldest respondents were more likely to consider the information in PAEHRs useful and aimed for them but to experience the technology as inherently difficult to use.

Research limitations/implications

The sample excludes non-users and is not a representative sample of the population of Sweden. However, although the data contain an unknown bias, there are no specific reasons to believe that it would differently affect the survey's age groups.

Practical implications

Age should be taken into account as a key factor that influences perceptions of the usefulness of PAEHRs. It is also crucial to consider separately patients' views of PAEHRs as a technology and of the information contained in the EHR when developing and evaluating existing and future systems and information provision for patients.

Social implications

This study contributes to bridging the gap between information behaviour and systems design research by showing how the theory of technological frames complemented with parallel informational frames to provide a potentially powerful framework for elucidating distinct conceptualisations of (information) technologies and the information they mediate. The empirical findings show how information and information technology needs relating to PAEHRs vary according to age. In contrast to the assumptions in much of the earlier work, they need to be addressed separately.

Originality/value

Few earlier studies focus on (1) age-related variation in PAEHR use and (2) user perceptions of the PAEHR technology and the health record information and how the technology and information–related perceptions are linked to each other.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

Content available

Abstract

Details

Aslib Journal of Information Management, vol. 71 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-3806

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