Direct to Consumer

Oral Presentation

(DTC12-01) A Qualitative Study of Baby Boomers Use Consumer Health Technology as Engaged Consumers and Patients

Tuesday, April 25
2:00 PM - 2:29 PM
Location: W224 CD

Describe baby boomers’ preferences, needs, and values for using technology to managing their health and healthcare.
Develop of information and communication resources to encourage baby boomers to participate as engaged patients.
Use the Patient 3.0 Profile as a theoretical framework for research on patient participation.

This qualitative study explored how baby boomers engage with healthcare providers, and use health information and consumer health technology to manage their health and healthcare. Data was collected from 57 consumer-patients using six focus groups held between May and December 2014 at work sites in a mid-sized mid-western city. We recruited through employers and used an online screening survey to identify for baby boomers who expressed an interest in making healthcare decisions; and were regular health information seekers and computer users. Baby boomers were between 50 to 64 years (mean, 57±3.9), employed, insured, and English-speaking. An iterative approach to data analysis was used that incorporated both deductive and inductive approaches. That is, transcripts were analyzed to: a) deductively identify codes using constructs from Patient 3.0 Profile and b) inductively identify supplemental codes relevant to the conceptual framework. Analyses were conducted using Dedoose (2014-2017), a web-based qualitative data analysis software package.

We found that baby boomers in the study want to collaborate with their healthcare providers to improve their health and manage their care. They find and use health information to understand their health situation and guide problem-solving and decision-making. They expect to make final healthcare decisions with input of healthcare providers and expend a great deal of effort distinguishing between good and bad health information on the Internet to learn more about their health situation. Baby boomers embrace consumer health technology that is endorsed by their healthcare provider or employers’ health plan. Particularly popular are the patient portal and self-management tools that allow them to monitor their diet and exercise. Communication with their healthcare providers through email is highly valued, but they indicate that telehealth via videoconferencing takes too much of their doctor's time and effort to be a viable option.

We conclude that baby boomers may be the first cohort to enter retirement with the competencies needed to take responsibility for managing their health and healthcare under a patient-centered model of care. They want to collaborate with their providers around diagnosis and treatment, learn about their health online, and use consumer health technologies for self-care and care management. We offer a refinement of the Patient 3.0 Profile that recognizes the influence of internal (patients' sense of personal agency) and external factors (system processes and resources) as well as the overlap of patient-provider relationship, health information and consumer health technology in supporting patients efforts to manage their health and healthcare.

Deborah E. Seale

Assistant Professor
Saint Louis University

Dr. Seale is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Sciences & Informatics at Saint Louis University. Deborah teaches undergraduate research methods courses and graduate health informatics courses in strategic leadership and applied projects. Her research areas are in consumer health informatics and telehealth. Dr. Seale received her PhD from Illinois State University in 2012 and her Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees in sociology are from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas in 1980 and 1985.

Prior to joining Saint Louis University in 2011, Deborah led the development of two telehealth units -- a statewide telehealth program at Southern Illinois University School of Medicine from 2001 through 2010 and the telehealth and distance education unit at The University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston where she served as its interim director for two years. At UTMB for 15 years, she also worked in an educational outreach program (known as the East Texas Area Health Education Center) as a program evaluator, strategic planner, information technology specialist and assistant director. She joined UTMB In 1985 as a biostatistician in a research office where she oversaw the collection, management, and analysis of data for community-based research projects for 6 years.


Send Email for Deborah Seale

Cynthia M. LeRouge

Associate Professor, Health Services
University of Washington

Cynthia LeRouge currently serves as Deputy Director of the Primary Care Innovation Lab and also as Associate Program Director of the Masters of Health Informatics/Health Information Management Program at the University of Washington. She specializes in the study of health information systems, particularly in the areas of telemedicine, consumer health informatics and public health informatics. She has authored or edited more than 100+ publications, including articles on telemedicine and consumer health technologies and is currently co-editor in chief of Health Systems journal.


Send Email for Cynthia LeRouge


(DTC12-01) A Qualitative Study of Baby Boomers Use Consumer Health Technology as Engaged Consumers and Patients

Attendees who have favorited this

Send Email for A Qualitative Study of Baby Boomers Use Consumer Health Technology as Engaged Consumers and Patients