Use of the my health record by people with communication disability in Australia: a review to inform the design and direction of future research

Bronwyn Hemsley*, Andrew Georgiou, Rob Carter, Sophie Hill, Isabel Higgins, Paulette van Vliet, Susan Balandin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Background: People with communication disability often struggle to convey their health information to multiple service providers and are at increased risk of adverse health outcomes related to the poor exchange of health information.

Objective: The purpose of this article was to (a) review the literature informing future research on the Australian personally controlled electronic health record, ‘My Health Record’ (MyHR), specifically to include people with communication disability and their family members or service providers, and (b) to propose a range of suitable methodologies that might be applied in research to inform training, policy and practice in relation to supporting people with communication disability and their representatives to engage in using MyHR.

Method: The authors reviewed the literature and, with a cross-disciplinary perspective, considered ways to apply sociotechnical, health informatics, and inclusive methodologies to research on MyHR use by adults with communication disability.

Research outcomes: This article outlines a range of research methods suitable for investigating the use of MyHR by people who have communication disability associated with a range of acquired or lifelong health conditions, and their family members, and direct support workers.

Conclusion: In planning the allocation of funds towards the health and well-being of adults with disabilities, both disability and health service providersmust consider the supports needed for people with communication disability to use MyHR.There is an urgent need to focus research efforts on MyHR in populations with communication disability, who struggle to communicate their health information acrossmultiple health and disability service providers. The design of studies and priorities for future research should be set in consultation with people with communication disability and their representatives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-115
Number of pages9
JournalHealth Information Management Journal
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jun 2016


  • Communication
  • Communication disabilities
  • Disability
  • e-health
  • Electronic health records
  • Health communication
  • Health equity
  • Health information management
  • Methods
  • Personal health records
  • Research


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