Persuasive design features within a consumer-focused eHealth intervention integrated with the electronic health record: A mixed methods study of effectiveness and acceptability

Genevieve Coorey*, David Peiris, Tim Usherwood, Lis Neubeck, John Mulley, Julie Redfern

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)


INTRODUCTION: eHealth strategies targeting health-related behaviour often incorporate persuasive software design. To further engage patients with their overall health management, consumer-facing web portals may be integrated with data from one or more care providers. This study aimed to explore effectiveness for healthier behaviour of persuasive design characteristics within a web application integrated with the primary health care electronic record; also patient and general practitioner (GP) preferences for future integrated records.

METHODS: Mixed methods study within the Consumer Navigation of Electronic Cardiovascular Tools randomised controlled trial. Participants were patients with moderate-high risk of cardiovascular disease, and their GPs. Survey and web analytic data were analysed with descriptive statistics. Interview and focus group transcripts were recorded, transcribed, coded and analysed for themes.

RESULTS: Surveys (n = 397) received from patients indicated improved medication adherence (31.8%); improved mental health and well-being (40%); higher physical activity (47%); and healthier eating (61%). Users of the interactive features reported benefiting from personalised cardiovascular disease risk score (73%); goal tracking (69%); risk factor self-monitoring (52%) and receipt of motivational health tips (54%). Focus group and interview participants (n = 55) described customisations that would increase portal appeal and relevance, including more provider interaction. Of the GP survey respondents (n = 38), 74% reported increased patient attendance and engagement with their care. For future integrated portals, 94% of GPs were in favour and key themes among interviewees (n = 17) related to design optimisation, impact on workflow and data security.

CONCLUSION: Intervention features reflecting the persuasive design categories of Primary Task support, Dialogue support and System Credibility support facilitated healthier lifestyle behaviour. Patients valued customisable functions and greater patient-provider interactivity. GPs identified system challenges but saw advantages for patients and the health care relationship. Future studies could further elucidate the persuasive design principles that are at play and which may promote adoption of EHR-integrated consumer portals.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0218447
Pages (from-to)1-30
Number of pages30
JournalPLoS One
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Persuasive design features within a consumer-focused eHealth intervention integrated with the electronic health record: A mixed methods study of effectiveness and acceptability'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this