Low adoption and use of Australia's digital health record has driven the Australian Government to trial ‘opt-out’ registration from mid-June 2016. The assumption that automatic registration will increase use and thereby deliver benefit requires further investigation especially amongst those sections of the population in rural, regional, remote Australia living with complex chronic conditions. This paper reports on findings from a community based participatory e-health research project based on an initiative where people with complex chronic conditions and their carers attended a rural health promotion and lifestyle modification program. Through co-operative enquiry, health promotion officers and their clients were actively supported to adopt and use Australia's digital health record as an intervention. Simultaneously they were encouraged to reflect on its design and their perceptions of its overall impact on their individual ability to self-manage complex chronic conditions. The findings, ultimately contributing to a conceptual implementation and evaluation framework for Australia's digital health record that could directly avoid failure of the new ‘opt-out’ approach being adopted.
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