Can patients use an automated questionnaire to define their current health status?

Med Care. 1992 May;30(5 Suppl):MS74-84. doi: 10.1097/00005650-199205001-00007.


Patient management decisions rarely incorporate standardized health status assessments, since accurate and reliable measures are difficult and expensive to obtain. In prior research with various methods for obtaining health data from patients, it was found that physicians' acceptance of a method was improved if it provided an individualized printout. It was also determined that patients will readily complete a health status questionnaire on a computer when the computer does not look like a computer. Patients' acceptance was greatest when they were presented with a single line of large, pressure-sensitive buttons with which they could respond to questions about their health histories. Using such an instrument, the HealthQuiz, the current study found the same discrepancy rate (3%) between patients' responses to health questions presented on HealthQuiz and during interview as between their responses to questions asked during two separate interviews. Further, to ascertain health status, rules determined by an expert panel were applied to patients' responses to health questions presented on the HealthQuiz screen. It was found that the numerical health status derived from answers to the automated presentation of questions was similar to numerical health status derived by a physician after a patient-physician interview.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Anesthesiology
  • Attitude to Computers
  • Diagnosis, Computer-Assisted / standards*
  • Evaluation Studies as Topic
  • Health Status
  • Health Status Indicators*
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic / standards
  • Medical History Taking / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Preoperative Care / methods
  • Preventive Medicine
  • Surveys and Questionnaires / standards*
  • United States