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Personal health records (PHRs) systems are a subject of intense interest in the move to improve health care through consumer empowerment. Yet, despite a surge of PHR offerings from a variety of providers, little research has been done to learn what prospective users want in a PHR and how they will use these systems. Because managing their personal health care information is a novel undertaking for most people, traditional technology adoption study methods are difficult to employ in researching PHRs. This paper reports on a user-centered design study that combines qualitative and quantitative approaches to investigate how health status may affect user needs for PHR. Preliminary analysis of the results indicates that users with disabilities differ from others in their PHR preferences. The results suggest that a particularly motivating factor for disabled individuals is the way in which a PHR will function when emergency services are required.