Impacts of a web-based educational program for veterans who read their mental health notes online

Lauren M. Denneson, Maura Pisciotta, Elizabeth R. Hooker, Amira Trevino, Steven Dobscha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Objective: This study evaluates whether a web-based educational program for patients who read their mental health notes online improves patient-clinician communication and increases patient activation. Methods: The web-based educational program, developed with end-user input, was designed to educate patients on the content of mental health notes, provide guidance on communicating with clinicians about notes, and facilitate patients' safe and purposeful use of their health information. Eligible patients were engaged in mental health treatment (≥1 visit in the prior 6 months) and had logged into the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) patient portal at least twice. Participants completed measures of patient activation, perceived efficacy in healthcare interactions, patient trust in their clinicians, and patient assessment of the therapeutic relationship before and after participating in the program. A total of 247 participants had complete data and engaged with the program for 5 minutes or more, comprising the analytic sample. Multivariate analysis using mixed effects models were used to examine pre-post changes in outcomes. Results: In bivariate analyses, patient activation, perceived efficacy in healthcare interactions, and trust in clinicians increased significantly between pre- and post-training assessments. In fully adjusted models, changes in patient activation [b = 2.71 (1.41, 4.00), P < 0.01] and perceived efficacy in healthcare interactions [b = 1.27 (0.54, 2.01), P < 0.01)] remained significant. Conclusions: Findings suggest that this educational program may help empower mental health patients who read their notes online to be active participants in their care, while also providing information and tools that may facilitate better relationships with their clinicians.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-8
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of the American Medical Informatics Association : JAMIA
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics

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