European citizens' use of E-health services: A study of seven countries

Norwegian Centre for Telemedicine, University Hospital of Northern Norway, Tromsø, Norway.
BMC Public Health (Impact Factor: 2.26). 04/2007; 7(1):53. DOI: 10.1186/1471-2458-7-53
Source: PubMed


European citizens are increasingly being offered Internet health services. This study investigated patterns of health-related Internet use, its consequences, and citizens' expectations about their doctors' provision of e-health services.
Representative samples were obtained from the general populations in Norway, Denmark, Germany, Greece, Poland, Portugal and Latvia. The total sample consisted of 7934 respondents. Interviews were conducted by telephone.
44 % of the total sample, 71 % of the Internet users, had used the Internet for health purposes. Factors that positively affected the use of Internet for health purposes were youth, higher education, white-collar or no paid job, visits to the GP during the past year, long-term illness or disabilities, and a subjective assessment of one's own health as good. Women were the most active health users among those who were online. One in four of the respondents used the Internet to prepare for or follow up doctors' appointments. Feeling reassured after using the Internet for health purposes was twice as common as experiencing anxieties. When choosing a new doctor, more than a third of the sample rated the provision of e-health services as important.
The users of Internet health services differ from the general population when it comes to health and demographic variables. The most common way to use the Internet in health matters is to read information, second comes using the net to decide whether to see a doctor and to prepare for and follow up on doctors' appointments. Hence, health-related use of the Internet does affect patients' use of other health services, but it would appear to supplement rather than to replace other health services.

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    • "0+ decided to make , change , or cancel an appointment with a doctor as a result of researching online health informa - tion , and almost 8 % took a critical decision to change their use of medicines without consulting their family doctor , specialist , or any other health professionals . Comparing the outcomes with the European survey reported by Andreassen et al . ( 2007 ) ( 9 % and 4 % , respectively ) , our results are higher , and older citizens proved to be less reliant on their providers to make decisions concerning their care . This has also been observed by other researchers ( Ressi 2011 ; Akerkar and Bichile 2004 ; Rainie and Fox 2000 ) . It is also interesting to note that the only factor signi"
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    ABSTRACT: E-patients 'empowered' by Web information are much more likely to participate in health care decision processes and take responsibility for their own health. The purpose of the study was to determine the influence of Internet use and online health information on the attitude, behavior, and emotions of Polish citizens aged 50+, with special regard to their attitude towards health professionals and the health care system. A total of 323 citizens, aged 50 years and above, who used the Internet for health purposes, were selected from the Polish population by random sampling. The sample collection was carried out by Polish opinion poll agencies in 2005, 2007, and 2012. The Internet was used by 27.8 % of Polish citizens aged 50+ for health purposes in the years 2005-2012. 69.7 % of respondents were looking for health information that might help them to deal with a consultation, 53.9 % turned to the Internet to prepare for a medical appointment, and 63.5 % to assess the outcome of a medical consultation and obtain a 'second opinion'. The most likely effects of health related use of the Internet were: willingness to change diet or other life-style habits (48 % of respondents) and making suggestions or queries on diagnosis or treatment by the doctor (46.1 %). Feelings of reassurance or relief after obtaining information on health or illness were reported by a similar number of respondents as feelings of anxiety and fear (31 % and 31.3 % respectively). Online health information can affect the attitudes, emotions, and health behaviors of Polish citizens aged 50+ in different ways.
    Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 05/2015; 861:1-17. DOI:10.1007/5584_2015_130 · 1.96 Impact Factor
    • "The Internet provides opportunities for individuals to access products and health information: 81% of U.S. adults use the internet, 59% admit to searching online for health information, and 35% go online to figure out what medical condition they or someone else might have (Purcell and Fox, 2010). In a recent survey of 3,020 EU adults aged 18 and older, 82% of surveyed users in Italy, 76% in Germany, 71% in France, and 56% In the United Kingdom go online for health-related activities (Kummervold et al., 2008; Andreassen et al., 2007). The health sector, capitalizing on the rapid development of information and communication technologies evident in increased access to online health information provided through various channels -health forums, social media and health kiosks-provides various online health services via institutional channels (Chen and Lee, 2013). "
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigates how differences in the use of online health information and social media affect the use of online health services. We attempt to predict the extent to which the use of social media and online health information prompt individuals to use online health services. We draw upon a combination of sociology and communication studies and integrate relational maintenance assumptions regarding the quality of online social relationships to promote the importance of health empowerment factors –socio-demographic characteristics, internet attitudes and health status models to predict the likelihood of using online health services. The study’s sample consists of 1,406 individuals using the Internet, including 633 individuals using the Internet and social media to look for health information.The study’s results provide evidence that (a) online health information empowers most of the examined individuals to use online health services; (b) among all social media only those that offer consulting have a significant effect on the likelihood of using online health services. The implications of these findings support that that a conceptual integration of CMC and social media use theories along with health empowerment assumptions, is a promising theoretical framework to test the effectiveness of social media use in prompting use of online health services. The practical applications for health management are highlighted as well. Finding practical and affordable ways to support the use of social media and encourage access to online health information and use of online health services could improve health literacy and self-management of health at the individual level and increase the efficiency in the provision of health services at the institutional level.
    Computers in Human Behavior 09/2014; 3::404-412. DOI:10.1016/j.chb.2014.07.032 · 2.69 Impact Factor
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    • "Researchers have investigated what type of health information people searched for (Andreassen et al. 2007; Bessell et al. 2002; Fox & Jones 2009; Fox & Duggan 2013; Johnson & Meischke 1991; McMullan 2006; Nicholas et al. 2003; Zhang and Fu 2011). A number of these studies have discovered that the Internet has been used for information about specific medical conditions, symptoms and diseases. "

    Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems, Chengdu, China; 06/2014
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