Publication Date




Embargo Period


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)


Industrial Engineering (Engineering)

Date of Defense


First Committee Member

Joseph Sharit

Second Committee Member

Shihab Asfour

Third Committee Member

Mohamed Fahmy

Fourth Committee Member

Moataz Eltoukhy

Fifth Committee Member

Arzu Onar-Thomas


Electronic personal health records (PHRs) are interactive online systems that can offer patients numerous benefits related to managing their health. However, in many developing countries they are still uncommon and face potential barriers regarding their dissemination into society. This study examined the ability for a diverse sample of 203 adults within Saudi Arabia to interact with a simulated PHR in order to perform seven common health-management tasks. Results indicated that after controlling for education, perceived health, and perceived comfort using the Internet, both electronic health literacy and health numeracy were significant predictors of task performance, especially for those tasks classified as more difficult. Also, while important differences in study variables were not found based on gender, they were for age, with the older participants demonstrating lower task performance scores, lower electronic health literacy and health numeracy scores, and lower perceived usability and usefulness of this technology. These results are discussed within the context of interface design implications for adoption of PHRs by this population of users.


electronic patient portals; simulation; user performance; health numeracy; electronic health literacy; eHealth

Available for download on Sunday, July 25, 2021