Lead Institution: Dartmouth

Project Leader: Denise Anthony

Research Progress

  • Abstract

    For individuals concerned about stigma, the widespread implementation of electronic health records (EHRs) may influence their willingness to disclose health or other personal information during the clinical encounter. We analyze qualitative interview data gathered from a purposive sample of sexual minority men (n=30). Building on theories of stigma management and disclosure, we explore how these individuals think about and experience disclosure in clinical encounters, and then further, how they perceive the role of electronic health records (EHRs).

  • Focus of the research/Market need for this project

    Consumer/patient disclosure of health information to providers may be reduced if consumers do not trust that their personal health information is treated securely and privately in electronic health records and via health information exchanges. People with stigmatizing conditions/status (e.g., sexual minority men seeking care from urban health clinics) may think about the privacy implications of electronic health records in different ways than others who do not face stigma.

  • Project Aims/Goals

    We conducted in-depth interviews with 30 sexual minority men and use qualitative analysis to examine how these men think about information disclosure in health care settings, and further how they perceive of electronic health records (EHRs) and the implications of EHRs for disclosure, and health care more generally.

  • Key Conclusions/Significant Findings/Milestones reached/Deliverables
    • Findings: Participants had mixed views of EHRs. Some felt that EHRs had the potential to facilitate health care by providing greater accessibility to health information. However, confidentiality concerns for some men, and the impersonality that some experienced within health settings that used EHRs, had the potential to alienate these already apprehensive health seekers from seeking care and disclosing personal health information.
    • Deliverables: Preliminary analyses and findings presented at: American Sociological Association Annual Meeting, August 2012, Denver, CO.
  • Materials Available for Other Investigators/interested parties.

    Conference paper available.

  • Market entry strategies


Paper currently under review (with Revise & Resubmit) at the journal: Social Science and Medicine.