Barriers and facilitators that affect public engagement with eHealth services

Nicholas R. Hardiker, Maria J. Grant

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


It is commonly accepted that public engagement with eHealth is beneficial. However, engagement is also variable. This article presents the findings of a review of published evaluation studies around eHealth services. A targeted search of MEDLINE, CINAHL and EMBASE returned 2622 unique abstracts. 50 articles met the inclusion criteria and were subjected to further analysis. 6 review articles were used for post hoc validation. Four main types of eHealth service or resource were identified: health information on the Internet; custom-built online health information; online support; and telehealth. 5 key themes emerged in terms of facilitators or barriers to engagement: characteristics of users; technological issues; characteristics of eHealth services; content issues; social aspects of use; and eHealth services in use. Recommendations arising from the review include: targeting efforts to engage those underserved by eHealth; maximizing exposure to eHealth across all sections of society; improving access to computers and the internet; appropriate design and delivery; ensuring content is relevant to different audiences; capitalizing on the interest in social computing; and clarifying the role of health workers in the delivery of eHealth.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMedinfo 2010 - Proceedings of the 13th World Congress on Medical Informatics
EditorsC. Safran, S. Reti, H.F. Marin
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages5
VolumeVol 160
EditionPART 1
ISBN (Electronic)9781607505884
ISBN (Print)9781607505877
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event13th World Congress on Medical and Health Informatics - Cape Town, South Africa
Duration: 12 Sep 201015 Sep 2010
Conference number: 13

Publication series

NameStudies in Health Technology and Informatics
NumberPART 1
ISSN (Print)0926-9630
ISSN (Electronic)1879-8365


Conference13th World Congress on Medical and Health Informatics
Abbreviated titleMedinfo 2010
Country/TerritorySouth Africa
CityCape Town


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