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Open Access Open Badges Research article

Patient attitudes toward using computers to improve health services delivery

Christopher N Sciamanna1*, Joseph Diaz2 and Puja Myne3

Author Affiliations

1 Brown University School of Medicine Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine at The Miriam Hospital, USA

2 Brown University School of Medicine Memorial Hospital of Rhode Island, USA

3 Providence College, USA

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BMC Health Services Research 2002, 2:19  doi:10.1186/1472-6963-2-19

Published: 11 September 2002



The aim of this study was to examine the acceptability of point of care computerized prompts to improve health services delivery among a sample of primary care patients.


Primary data collection. Cross-sectional survey. Patients were surveyed after their visit with a primary care provider. Data were obtained from patients of ten community-based primary care practices in the spring of 2001.


Almost all patients reported that they would support using a computer before each visit to prompt their doctor to: "do health screening tests" (92%), "counsel about health behaviors (like diet and exercise)" (92%) and "change treatments for health conditions" (86%). In multivariate testing, the only variable that was associated with acceptability of the point of care computerized prompts was patient's confidence in their ability to answer questions about their health using a computer (beta = 0.39, p = .001). Concerns about data security were expressed by 36.3% of subjects, but were not related to acceptability of the prompts.


Support for using computers to generate point of care prompts to improve quality-oriented processes of care was high in our sample, but may be contingent on patients feeling familiar with their personal medical history.

reminders; preventive services; quality; computer; primary care