Internet health information seeking is a team sport: Analysis of the Pew Internet Survey.
ABSTRACT BACKGROUND: Previous studies examining characteristics of Internet health information seekers do not distinguish between those who only seek for themselves, and surrogate seekers who look for health information for family or friends. Identifying the unique characteristics of surrogate seekers would help in developing Internet interventions that better support these information seekers. OBJECTIVE: To assess differences between self seekers versus those that act also as surrogate seekers. METHODS: We analyzed data from the cross-sectional Pew Internet and American Life Project November/December 2008 health survey. Our dependent variable was self-report of type of health information seeking (surrogate versus self seeking). Independent variables included demographics, health status, and caregiving. After bivariate comparisons, we then developed multivariable models using logistic regression to assess characteristics associated with surrogate seeking. RESULTS: Out of 1250 respondents who reported seeking health information online, 56% (N=705) reported being surrogate seekers. In multivariable models, compared with those who sought information for themselves only, surrogate seekers were more likely both married and a parent (OR=1.57, CI=1.08, 2.28), having good (OR=2.05, CI=1.34, 3.12) or excellent (OR=2.72, CI=1.70, 4.33) health status, being caregiver of an adult relative (OR=1.76, CI=1.34, 2.30), having someone close with a serious medical condition (OR=1.62, CI=1.21, 2.17) and having someone close to them facing a chronic illness (OR=1.55, CI=1.17, 2.04). CONCLUSIONS: Our findings provide evidence that information needs of surrogate seekers are not being met, specifically of caregivers. Additional research is needed to develop new functions that support surrogate seekers.
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ABSTRACT: Patient access to clinical information represents a means to improve the transparency and delivery of health care as well as interactions between patients and health care providers. We examine the movement toward augmenting patient access to clinical information using technology. Our analysis focuses on "Blue Button," a tool that many health care organizations are implementing as part of their Web-based patient portals. We present a framework for evaluating the effects that technology-assisted access to clinical information may have on stakeholder experiences, processes of care, and health outcomes. A case study of the United States Department of Veterans Affairs' (VA) efforts to make increasing amounts of clinical information available to patients through Blue Button. Drawing on established collaborative relationships with researchers, clinicians, and operational partners who are engaged in the VA's ongoing implementation and evaluation efforts related to Blue Button, we assessed existing evidence and organizational practices through key informant interviews, review of documents and other available materials, and an environmental scan of published literature and the websites of other health care organizations. Technology-assisted access to clinical information represents a significant advance for VA patients and marks a significant change for the VA as an organization. Evaluations of Blue Button should (1) consider both processes of care and outcomes, (2) clearly define constructs of focus, (3) examine influencing factors related to the patient population and clinical context, and (4) identify potential unintended consequences. The proposed framework can serve as a roadmap to guide subsequent research and evaluation of technology-assisted patient access to clinical information. To that end, we offer a series of related recommendations.JMIR research protocols. 01/2014; 3(1):e18.
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ABSTRACT: Background Electronic, or web-based, patient portals can improve patient satisfaction, engagement and health outcomes and are becoming more prevalent with the advent of meaningful use incentives. However, adoption rates are low, particularly among vulnerable patient populations, such as those patients who are home-bound with multiple comorbidities. Little is known about how these patients view patient portals or their barriers to using them.Objective To identify barriers to and facilitators of using My HealtheVet (MHV), the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) patient portal, among Veterans using home-based primary care services.DesignQualitative study using in-depth semi-structured interviews. We conducted a content analysis informed by grounded theory.ParticipantsFourteen Veterans receiving home-based primary care, surrogates of two of these Veterans, and three home-based primary care (HBPC) staff members.Key ResultsWe identified five themes related to the use of MHV: limited knowledge; satisfaction with current HBPC care; limited computer and Internet access; desire to learn more about MHV and its potential use; and value of surrogates acting as intermediaries between Veterans and MHV.Conclusions Despite their limited knowledge of MHV and computer access, home-bound Veterans are interested in accessing MHV and using it as an additional point of care. Surrogates are also potential users of MHV on behalf of these Veterans and may have different barriers to and benefits from use.Health expectations: an international journal of public participation in health care and health policy 05/2014; · 1.80 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The need to understand preferred sources of health information remains important to providing patient-centered care. The Internet remains a popular resource for health information, but more traditional sources may still be valid for patients during a recent health need. This study sought to understand the characteristics of patients that turn to their doctor or healthcare provider first for a recent health or medical information need.BMC Family Practice 06/2014; 15(1):111. · 1.61 Impact Factor