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Abstract

This paper presents Persuasive Health Information systems (PHIs), which has been deployed over a period of eight months at a pilot site to improve health information dissemination among rural women in India. The design process of the PHI integrates social cues from the persuasive technology and the theory of planned behaviour for shaping social beliefs and health practices of rural women. Two field studies were conducted to design and evaluate the PHIs. The results from study one revealed social beliefs and practices related to primary health that formulated the design requirements for the PHIs. On the basis of these requirements, the social beliefs were addressed by applying persuasive social cues to the design of the form, content, and interaction of the PHIs. The results from study two involved comparative engagement between PHIs and an existing health information system supported by a local nongovernmental organization. The results indicate that application of persuasive technology can persuade the rural women to change their existing social beliefs and health practices in a positive manner. This paper contributes by providing theoretical understanding of what restricts the information transfer among rural women in terms of health care practices and how it can be addressed by applying persuasive technology for the design of health information systems. We hope that health practitioners, ICT developers and the design community would benefit from this approach in developing information systems for health care, e-government, and education in a rural context.

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