Health Services Research & Development

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Javier SJ, Troszak LK, Shimada SL, McInnes DK, Ohl ME, Avoundjian T, Erhardt TA, Midboe AM. Racial and ethnic disparities in use of a personal health record by veterans living with HIV. Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA. 2019 Aug 1; 26(8-9):696-702.
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Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To examine sociodemographic characteristics associated with use of My HealtheVet (MHV) by veterans living with HIV. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Veterans Health Administration administrative data were used to identify a cohort of veterans living with HIV in fiscal years 2011-2017. Descriptive analyses were conducted to examine demographic characteristics and racial/ethnic differences in MHV registration and tool use. Chi-Square tests were performed to assess associations between race/ethnicity and MHV registration and tool use. RESULTS: The highest proportion of registrants were non-Hispanic White veterans living with HIV (59%), followed by Hispanic/Latino (55%) and Black veterans living with HIV (40%). Chi-Square analyses revealed that: (1) MHV account registration was significantly lower for both Black and Hispanic/Latino veterans in comparison to White veterans and (2) Black MHV registrants were less likely to utilize any MHV tool compared with White MHV registrants including Blue Button record download, medication refills, secure messaging, lab, and appointment views. DISCUSSION: In line with prior research on personal health record (PHR) use among non-veteran populations, these findings show racial and ethnic inequities in MHV use among veterans living with HIV. Racial and ethnic minorities may be less likely to use PHRs for a myriad of reasons, including PHR privacy concerns, decreased educational attainment, and limited access to the internet. CONCLUSION: This is the first study to examine racial and ethnic disparities in use of MHV tools by veterans living with HIV and utilizing Veterans Health Administration health care. Future research should examine potential moderating factors linked to decreased PHR use among racial and ethnic minority veterans, which could inform strategies to increase PHR use among vulnerable populations.