Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Community & Environmental Health


Community Health

Committee Director

Clare Houseman

Committee Member

Burden Lundgren

Committee Member

Scott Sechrist

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.C48 O94 2005


The purpose of this study was to determine the level of camera phone awareness in outpatient community behavioral health facilities in a medium sized Mid-Atlantic state. Camera phones have been shown to have a detrimental effect on the protection of privacy in areas such as corporations, gym locker rooms, and court houses, but privacy issues have not yet been addressed in behavioral health. Privacy is an important issue in healthcare as shown through the implementation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). This study used Rogers' (1995) Diftbsion of Innovations Theory as a framework for determining the stage organizations have achieved according to the five level innovation decision process: agenda-setting, matching, redefining, clarifying, and routinizing.

This study used semi-structured audio taped telephone interviews as the primary source of information. Eight Privacy Officers were asked a series of at least 12 survey questions guided by Rogers' Diftbsion of Innovations Theory. Demographic information for each facility was captured prior to the interview. Qualitative data was analyzed using the constant comparative method.

In conclusion, all participants were aware of the existence of camera phones, but 75% of them indicated that they had little or no knowledge of camera phones. All respondents identified camera phones' risk to privacy in general, and five realized the potential risk in their facility but only when prompted by a survey question. One respondent realized the risk to privacy within their facility without being prompted. Even though every facility had a privacy and confidentiality policy, none had a camera phone policy indicating that the identified facilities had not moved beyond the agenda-setting stage in initiating a camera phone policy.


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