Open Access Open Badges Research article

Development of the PRE-HIT instrument: patient readiness to engage in health information technology

Richelle J Koopman1*, Gregory F Petroski2, Shannon M Canfield3, Julie A Stuppy4 and David R Mehr1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Family and Community Medicine, University of Missouri, MA306 Medical Sciences Building, DC032.00, Columbia, Missouri 65212, USA

2 Office of Medical Research, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, USA

3 Center for Health Policy, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, USA

4 Department of Child Health, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, USA

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BMC Family Practice 2014, 15:18  doi:10.1186/1471-2296-15-18

Published: 28 January 2014



Technology-based aids for lifestyle change are becoming more prevalent for chronic conditions. Important “digital divides” remain, as well as concerns about privacy, data security, and lack of motivation. Researchers need a way to characterize participants’ readiness to use health technologies. To address this need, we created an instrument to measure patient readiness to engage with health technologies among adult patients with chronic conditions.


Initial focus groups to determine domains, followed by item development and refinement, and exploratory factor analysis to determine final items and factor structure. The development sample included 200 patients with chronic conditions from 6 family medicine clinics. From 98 potential items, 53 best candidate items were examined using exploratory factor analysis. Pearson’s Correlation for Test/Retest reliability at 3 months.


The final instrument had 28 items that sorted into 8 factors with associated Cronbach’s alpha: 1) Health Information Need (0.84), 2) Computer/Internet Experience (0.87), 3) Computer Anxiety (0.82), 4) Preferred Mode of Interaction (0.73), 5) Relationship with Doctor (0.65), 6) Cell Phone Expertise (0.75), 7) Internet Privacy (0.71), and 8) No News is Good News (0.57). Test-retest reliability for the 8 subscales ranged from (0.60 to 0.85).


The Patient Readiness to Engage in Health Internet Technology (PRE-HIT) instrument has good psychometric properties and will be an aid to researchers investigating technology-based health interventions. Future work will examine predictive validity.

Quantitative methods; Measurement issues/instrument development; Information management/informatics; Chronic care