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01.12.2014 | Research article | Ausgabe 1/2014 Open Access

BMC Family Practice 1/2014

Development of the PRE-HIT instrument: patient readiness to engage in health information technology

BMC Family Practice > Ausgabe 1/2014
Richelle J Koopman, Gregory F Petroski, Shannon M Canfield, Julie A Stuppy, David R Mehr
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1186/​1471-2296-15-18) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Competing interests

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

Authors’ contributions

RJK conceived of the study, participated in its design and coordination and drafted the manuscript. GFP participated in the design and performed the statistical analysis. SMC participated in the design of the study, and the analysis and interpretation of data. JAS participated in the analysis and interpretation of qualitative data. DRM participated in the design of the study, and the analysis and interpretation of the data. All authors provided critical review of manuscript drafts, including the final manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.



Technology-based aids for lifestyle change are becoming more prevalent for chronic conditions. Important “digital divides” remain, as well as concerns about privacy, data security, and lack of motivation. Researchers need a way to characterize participants’ readiness to use health technologies. To address this need, we created an instrument to measure patient readiness to engage with health technologies among adult patients with chronic conditions.


Initial focus groups to determine domains, followed by item development and refinement, and exploratory factor analysis to determine final items and factor structure. The development sample included 200 patients with chronic conditions from 6 family medicine clinics. From 98 potential items, 53 best candidate items were examined using exploratory factor analysis. Pearson’s Correlation for Test/Retest reliability at 3 months.


The final instrument had 28 items that sorted into 8 factors with associated Cronbach’s alpha: 1) Health Information Need (0.84), 2) Computer/Internet Experience (0.87), 3) Computer Anxiety (0.82), 4) Preferred Mode of Interaction (0.73), 5) Relationship with Doctor (0.65), 6) Cell Phone Expertise (0.75), 7) Internet Privacy (0.71), and 8) No News is Good News (0.57). Test-retest reliability for the 8 subscales ranged from (0.60 to 0.85).


The Patient Readiness to Engage in Health Internet Technology (PRE-HIT) instrument has good psychometric properties and will be an aid to researchers investigating technology-based health interventions. Future work will examine predictive validity.
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