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Abstract

While information and communication technologies can increase the health care provided to underserved populations, research concerning these technologies often involves only those patients who possess access to technology or who are otherwise willing and able to use it. This issue is important for both researchers and practitioners because non-users' beliefs may not only be different from users' beliefs, they may become more important to understand as access to technology increases. To address this problem: 1. We develop a model of the antecedents to perceived usefulness of an interactive health communication (IHC) system. While our research model combines health-related beliefs with technology perceptions, the antecedents can all be measured before an individual has contact with a particular IHC system. Thus, in the current (and in future) work, they can be used to assess the beliefs of individuals who may not currently be willing or able to use technology. 2. We test this model using paper-based scenarios that depict hypothetical interactions with an IHC system. These paper-based scenarios are more flexible and easier to use than a working system, thus we are able to obtain data from many sources, resulting in a perceptually diverse sample. Results of our hypothesis testing show that patients with higher knowledge and discipline are less likely than those with less knowledge and/or discipline to find an IHC system useful. In addition we learned several lessons from our research process including how to increase participation rates and what reactions to expect from participants.

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