Factors Associated with Reducing Disparities in Electronic Personal Heath Records Use Among Non-Hispanic White and Hispanic Adults

J Racial Ethn Health Disparities. 2022 Apr 27. doi: 10.1007/s40615-022-01307-5. Online ahead of print.


Objectives: Personal health records (PHR) use has improved individuals' health outcomes. The adoption of PHR remains low with documented racial disparities. We aim to determine factors associated with reducing racial and ethnic disparities among Hispanic adults in PHR use.

Methods: Participants included non-Hispanic White (NHW) and Hispanic adults (age ≥ 18 years) enrolled in Health Information National Trends Survey in 2018 and 2019. We identified PHR use as online medical record access in the last 12 months. We considered three factors (1. accessing mHealth Apps on the phone, 2. having a usual source of care, and 3. electronically communicating (e-communication) with healthcare providers) as facilitating PHR use. Multivariable logistic regressions with replicate weights were analyzed to determine factors associated with racial/ethnic disparities in PHR use after controlling for general characteristics (i.e., sex, age, education, insurance status, and income).

Results: A lower percentage of Hispanics than NHWs used PHR (42.0% vs. 53.5%, P < .001). When adjusted for individual general characteristics, the adjusted odds ratio (AOR) of e-communication with healthcare providers associated with PHR use was 1.49 (1.19-1.86, P < .001), AOR was 2.06 (1.62-2.6, P < .001) on accessing to mHealth App, and 2.60 (1.86-3.63, P < .001) on having a usual source of care. However, the racial difference was not statistically significant after adjusting three factors promoting PHR use (AOR = 0.90, 95% CI = 0.66, 1.22, P = .48).

Conclusions: Ethnic disparities were reduced when PHR use was facilitated by having a usual source of care, active e-communication, and having access to mHealth apps. Interventions focusing on these three factors may potentially reduce racial/ethnic disparities.

Keywords: Hispanic; Non-Hispanic White; Personal Health Record; Racial and ethnic disparities.