The general public's use of (and attitudes towards) interactive, personal digital health information and advisory services
ABSTRACT Examines statistically the public's use and attitudes towards interactive and personal health services via an online questionnaire survey and enhances these data with an expert assessment of a number of consumer health sites and their services. Over a period of three weeks more than 1,300 people responded to an online questionnaire produced by The British Life and Internet Project. Of the respondents, 81 per cent were British. The likely potential uptake figure for support group participation among Internet health users is about 20 per cent while around 11 to 13 per cent will go online to describe a medical condition. Those in poor heath were approximately ten to 13 times more likely to have participated in an online support group. Those aged over 65 were four times as likely to e-mail their doctor. More positive health outcomes were associated with those respondents that participated in online support groups and the least number of health outcomes were associated with those people that maintained e-mail contact with a doctor or surgery.
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ABSTRACT: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to report on a research designed to find out how people in Scotland access and use online health information. Design/methodology/approach – It is based on a survey of two sets of population in Glasgow – a group of 64 users from the general public and a group of 24 post graduate students from a university in Glasgow. Findings – Use of the Internet for health information was found to be much lower in Scotland than in the previous UK studies particularly those using online surveys. It was noted that people searched online health information for themselves, family and friends. Healthy eating, exercise and alternative medicine were the most commonly sought topics. Approximately half the survey participants felt online health information influenced their treatment. Originality/value – The study incorporates both Internet users and non-users, as well as proficient internet users, and therefore provides a more balanced view.Journal of Documentation 03/2007; 63(2):229-242. · 1.06 Impact Factor