MyPath: Investigating breast cancer patients’ use of personalized health information

Maia Jacobs, Jeremy Johnson, Elizabeth D. Mynatt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Following a cancer diagnosis, patients must cope with numerous physical, emotional, and practical challenges. While health information exists to help patients learn how to manage these challenges, health information seeking often declines over time, recalling information is difficult, and limited time with healthcare providers can leave patients feeling uninformed about their illness. We designed MyPath to overcome these information access challenges. The mobile system offers personalized, dynamic, and trusted health information recommendations to help patients learn about and manage their cancer. Through a seven-month deployment study with breast cancer patients, we found that use of the application encouraged proactive health management behaviors, and identified factors that motivated technology adoption and abandonment. We discuss the implications of these results for facilitating use of mHealth tools by a rural patient population and the importance of scaling support to a large range of information needs. We use this work to demonstrate the value of personalized health information systems and to motivate future CSCW research developing personalized support systems for other health situations with complex information access models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number78
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Issue numberCSCW
StatePublished - Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Breast cancer
  • Health information seeking
  • Human-computer interaction
  • Mobile health
  • Personalization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'MyPath: Investigating breast cancer patients’ use of personalized health information'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this