School of Information and Library Science
School of Public Health
School of Medicine


Ongoing research

Project team



This project aims to define a procedure for developing a set of usability guidelines for PHR development, use, and sharing; and relate PHR usability to the Health Maintenance Consortium grant as a user-oriented way to maintain (and extend) behavior changes. Specifically, the work to date has focused on identifying and codifying the evidence base and conducting four specific user studies to extend the literature base. At this point, three general facets that have emerged: PHR functionality (the kinds of actions people take with PHRs), PHR data types (the kinds of data people expect to have in PHRs), and usability issues especially pertinent to PHRs. We have identified more than 100 papers pertinent to PHRs and/or usability and we have designed four specific user studies that are undergoing IRB review. We expect to collect data in April-May.

The four studies are: PHR Needs Assessment that aims to identify the range of uses for which people might create and maintain personal health records, the types of data they might wish to keep in their personal health records, and the privacy and security issues that are most important to the users of personal health records; Visualizing Medical Test Results that aims to quantify the impact of how presenting medical test results in graphical form affects lay peoples accuracy, satisfaction and perceived risk; Survey of Use of Personal Medication Health Records by Older Adults that aims to determine how adults aged 55 and older who take multiple medications manage information about their medications, with whom they share information about their medications, and what information they share; and Interplay of interactivity and information organization on cognitive, affective, and usability responses to PHR use that aims to determine the interaction between interactivity, which tends to be a positive design goal, and information complexity (Final report).

This site is managed by the PHR research team at School of Information and Library Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Last updated: 12/27/2006