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This content will become publicly available on October 6, 2024

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Issues In Information Systems
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National Science Foundation
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  3. Background

    Mobile mental health systems (MMHS) have been increasingly developed and deployed in support of monitoring, management, and intervention with regard to patients with mental disorders. However, many of these systems rely on patient data collected by smartphones or other wearable devices to infer patients’ mental status, which raises privacy concerns. Such a value-privacy paradox poses significant challenges to patients’ adoption and use of MMHS; yet, there has been limited understanding of it.


    To address the significant literature gap, this research aims to investigate both the antecedents of patients’ privacy concerns and the effects of privacy concerns on their continuous usage intention with regard to MMHS.


    Using a web-based survey, this research collected data from 170 participants with MMHS experience recruited from online mental health communities and a university community. The data analyses used both repeated analysis of variance and partial least squares regression.


    The results showed that data type (P=.003), data stage (P<.001), privacy victimization experience (P=.01), and privacy awareness (P=.08) have positive effects on privacy concerns. Specifically, users report higher privacy concerns for social interaction data (P=.007) and self-reported data (P=.001) than for biometrics data; privacy concerns are higher for data transmission (P=.01) and data sharing (P<.001) than for data collection. Our results also reveal that privacy concerns have an effect on attitude toward privacy protection (P=.001), which in turn affects continuous usage intention with regard to MMHS.


    This study contributes to the literature by deepening our understanding of the data value-privacy paradox in MMHS research. The findings offer practical guidelines for breaking the paradox through the design of user-centered and privacy-preserving MMHS.

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