Title: Online self-disclosure: model for the use of internet-based technologies in collecting sensitive health information

Authors: Lotus E. Kam, William G. Chismar

Addresses: College of Business Administration, University of Hawai'i, 2404 Maile Way, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA. ' College of Business Administration, University of Hawai'i, 2404 Maile Way, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA

Abstract: Patient information is often incomplete or inaccurate, undermining patient care. Information technologies for interviewing may motivate individuals to report higher levels of stigmatised or illicit activities and lower levels of normative behaviour in comparison to traditional interviewing methods. The role of internet-based technologies for gathering more accurate information, however, remains unproven and is often contradictory because the motivating factors are infrequently addressed. We develop a self-disclosure model based on a synthesis of previous studies on self-disclosure of personal health information. Our review of the literature suggested that self-disclosure is affected by three motivating factors: patient perceptions of privacy, context sensitivity, and the information value of content and feedback. Internet-based technologies can influence these motivating factors and may improve the quality of patient information by increasing the self-disclosure of health-risk behaviours.

Keywords: online self-disclosure; privacy; data quality; sensitive information; information technology; social desirability; electronic healthcare; e-healthcare; health information; internet; web-based self-disclosure; patient information; personal health information; health risk behaviours; information value; motivation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJHTM.2006.008433

International Journal of Healthcare Technology and Management, 2006 Vol.7 No.3/4, pp.218 - 232

Published online: 20 Dec 2005 *

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