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Veterans Experiences Using Secure Messaging

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Department of Veterans Affairs Identifier:
First received: June 15, 2011
Last updated: October 27, 2014
Last verified: October 2014

Deployment of Secure Messaging (SM) in primary care and women's clinics throughout the Veteran Health System by 2011 was an implementation priority for the Secretary and Under Secretary for Health for FY11 under the VHA T21 initiative. Secure Messaging is in early phases of implementation, this eHealth tool requires thoughtful evaluation to promote the successful implementation and dissemination of this tool. The primary aim of this project is to describe Veterans' experiences when using the SM feature on MyHealtheVet (MHV). This project has local, VISN, and national impact on the implementation and sustainability of the SM feature on MHV through its qualitative and quantitative examination of users' experiences. Findings from this research explores why Veterans choose to, or not to, use the SM feature on MHV, identify facilitators and barriers, and examine if experiences differ by health literacy or computer literacy. In addition to the interview data, findings from the usability testing and the quantitative survey findings build knowledge about Veterans' experiences using the SM feature on MyHealtheVet. These data will inform systems improvements, educational approaches, and marketing strategies to increase adoption and long-term utilization among Veterans.

Focus of Study- Veteran Computer Interface User

Study Type: Observational
Study Design: Observational Model: Cohort
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: Veterans' Experiences Using Secure Messaging on MyHealtheVet

Further study details as provided by Department of Veterans Affairs:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Usability of Secure Messaging [ Time Frame: April 2012 - March 2013 ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    To determine user ability of secure messaging at baseline (ex. Navigate to Secure Messaging Log-in site; Secure Messaging Log-in; Set user preferences; Check Inbox; Open Secure Message; Open and read attachment; Send Secure Message)

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Secure Messaging use and content patterns [ Time Frame: April 2012 - March 2013 ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    To longitudinally examine the quantity and quality of content, exchange patterns, and timing of inbound and outbound SM between participants and their healthcare teams. These interviews will assess usability, barriers, facilitators and satisfaction of Secure Messaging at 3 months post-testing.

  • User experiences with Secure Messaging [ Time Frame: April 2013 - September 2013 ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
    Mail surveys will quantitatively examine secure messaging user experiences, preferences, barriers and facilitators.

Enrollment: 859
Study Start Date: April 2012
Study Completion Date: September 2013
Primary Completion Date: September 2013 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Group 1
Purposive sampling was used to identify a sample of 33 Veterans who have been Personally Authenticated for the SM feature on MHV. Participants were recruited from each site (Tampa, Boston). Women were purposively recruited to ensure females were represented in data findings.
Group 2
Random sampling was used to conduct a quantitative survey with 819 veterans to explore their experiences using secure messaging.

  Show Detailed Description


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years and older
Genders Eligible for Study:   Both
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population

Veterans in Tampa and Boston who have been Personally Authenticated for the SM feature on MHV.


Inclusion Criteria:

  • Individuals who have been Personally Authenticated for the SM feature on MHV and
  • who use SM independent of other caregivers, and
  • cognitive impairment that prevents use of a personal computer.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Unable or unwilling to provide informed consent.
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01382186

United States, Florida
James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital, Tampa, FL
Tampa, Florida, United States, 33612
United States, Massachusetts
VA Boston Healthcare System Jamaica Plain Campus, Jamaica Plain, MA
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02130
Sponsors and Collaborators
Principal Investigator: Jolie N. Haun, PhD MS BS James A. Haley Veterans' Hospital