Brief report: consistency of search engine rankings for autism websites.
ABSTRACT The World Wide Web is one of the most common methods used by parents to find information on autism spectrum disorders and most consumers find information through search engines such as Google or Bing. However, little is known about how the search engines operate or the consistency of the results that are returned over time. This study presents the results of analyses of searches from 2009, 2010, and 2011 for information on autism. We found that over time, consumers are likely to have different search experiences yielding different results, and we urge consumers to use caution when using the World Wide Web to obtain information on autism.
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ABSTRACT: We aimed to determine the rate of Internet use for obtaining medical information by health-care patients at a tertiary paediatric hospital, whether the Internet may influence patients' attitudes to health-care services and health-care providers and whether patients would prefer the assistance of a professional informatics officer. An anonymous questionnaire randomly distributed to 450 subjects at Sydney Children's Hospital, Sydney, Australia. A total of 294 (65%) questionnaires were returned. Overall Internet use for medical information was 64% (189/294). Most (97%; 183/189) respondents reported 'wanting to know more' as the reason they sought information on the Internet. Eighty-eight per cent (167/189) of respondents reported that they trust their doctor more than the Internet. Twenty-one per cent (39/189) had presented their doctor with information about which he/she was unaware and 18% (34/189) had altered a health-care decision because of information found on the Internet. The Internet had influenced questions asked of doctors in 83% (156/189). Eighty-six per cent (252/294) of all respondents were in favour of professional assistance to obtain medical information. A large number of patients use the Internet to find information that influences their attitudes to health care. The services of a medical informatics professional would likely benefit both patients and doctors.Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health 10/2006; 42(9):528-32. · 1.25 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Studies have shown increasing Internet use for health information. We aimed to broadly examine parents' utilisation of information sources for their children's health, their trust in them and to define the role of the Internet for children's health information Interview of a convenience sample of parents of patients presenting to a tertiary paediatric emergency department (ED) (Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, Australia) in 2006/2007. A total of 360 parents completed the interview. Parents had used on average five sources of health information for their children in the previous 6 months. In the previous 6 months and immediately prior to the ED visit, general practitioners were consulted for health information by 87% and 39%, chemists by 44% and 2%, the Internet by 43% and 6% and telephone advice health lines by 30% and 10%, respectively. Of these sources, parents 'greatly trusted' Royal Children's Hospital ED doctors and nurses 82% (n = 112) their regular general practitioners in 73% (n = 303), chemists in 45% (n = 160), telephone advice health lines (Nurse-On-Call) in 42% (n = 90) and the Internet in general in 10% (n = 112). Overall, 52% had sought health information for their children on the Internet. Only 20% knew and 11% had ever used the regional children's hospital web site (http://www.rch.org.au/kidsinfo), but 97% of the Internet users reported they would trust this information. While using numerous different sources, parents in this study mostly use and trust traditional sources of health information. Scores of respondents use the Internet to seek health information for their children and would value easier access to Internet sources that they trust.Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health 01/2008; 44(7-8):419-23. · 1.25 Impact Factor