Classifying Health Information Interactions and their Motivations: A Study with Older Adults and Electronic Patient Portals


  • Isto Huvila Uppsala University; Åbo Akademi University
  • Kristina Eriksson-Backa Åbo Akademi University
  • Noora Hirvonen University of Oulu
  • Heidi Enwald Åbo Akademi University; University of Oulu



electronic health records, electronic patient portals, faceted classification, information interactions


Current research on electronic patient portals and electronic health records shows a broad range of benefits to patients, healthcare  professionals and healthcare when patients are allowed to take part of their medical record information. There are, however, shortcomings in the current knowledge about patients’ and other stakeholders’ information interactions with electronic health record systems and what motivates them to use these. We present a tentative classification of information interactions with an electronic patient portal, the stakeholders involved in the interactions and reasons that motivate patients to interact with electronic health record information. The purpose of the classification scheme is 1) to inform the design of useful health information access systems, and simultaneously to 2) contribute to the broader information interaction research by acting as a first step in developing a more generic classification that brings together information interactions, their stakeholders and stakeholder motivations to engage with information.


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