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J Int Assoc Provid AIDS Care. 2013 Mar-Apr;12(2):117-21. doi: 10.1177/1545109712457712. Epub 2012 Sep 10.

Bridging the digital divide in HIV care: a pilot study of an iPod personal health record.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Infectious Disease Division, University of Rochester School of Medicine & Dentistry, Rochester, NY, USA.



Persons living with HIV (PLWH) need practical tools to self-manage their condition.


We conducted a proof-of-concept study among PLWH to assess whether patients could learn to use a personal health record (PHR) on a hand-held device (iPod Touch) to manage their condition. We began individual trainings and later adapted this to group training. We assessed usability, acceptability and also effects on self-efficacy for treatment adherence using the HIV Treatment Adherence Self-Efficacy Scale (HIV-ASES).


Nine PLWH participated in the individual training and 29 participated in the group sessions. The participants were largely middle aged, low-income and of racial/ethnic minorities. The sessions were well attended and participants fully engaged in tasks and shared learning. Most participants stated they intended to use the PHR and reported improved self-efficacy in treatment adherence (P = .05) particularly on the integration of treatment adherence into one's routine (P < .02).


Training PLWH in use of a handheld PHR shows promise.

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