Use of the Internet and Ratings of Information Sources for Medical Decisions: Results from the DECISIONS Survey
ABSTRACT The rise in Internet use for seeking health information raises questions about the role the Internet may play in how patients make medical decisions.
To examine Internet use and perceived importance of different sources of information by patients making 9 specific medical decisions covering prescription medication initiation, cancer screening, and elective surgery.
National sample of US adults identified by random-digit dialing.
Cross-sectional survey conducted between November 2006 and May 2007.
The final sample comprised 2575 English-speaking US adults aged 40 y and older who had either undergone 1 of 9 medical procedures or tests or talked with a health care provider about doing so during the previous 2 y.
Participants indicated if they or other family members used the Internet to seek information related to each of the specific medical decisions and rated how important the health care provider, the Internet (if used), family and friends, and the media (newspapers, magazines, and television) were in providing information to help make the medical decision.
Use of the Internet for information related to specific decisions among adults 40 y and older was generally low (28%) but varied across decisions, from 17% for breast cancer screening to 48% for hip/knee replacement. Internet use was higher at younger ages, rising from 14% among those aged 70 y and older to 38% for those aged 40 to 49 y. Internet users consistently rated health care providers as the most influential source of information for medical decisions, followed by the Internet, family and friends, and media.
Telephone surveys are limited by coverage and nonresponse. The authors excluded health-related Internet use not associated with the 9 target decisions.
A minority of patients reported using the Internet to make specific common medical decisions, but use varied widely by type of decision. Perhaps reflecting perceived risk and uncertainty, use was lowest for screening decisions and highest for surgical decisions.
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ABSTRACT: Primary endocrine therapy (PET) as an alternative to surgery is widely used in the UK for the treatment of older women with operable breast cancer. For women over 70 it has equivalent overall survival to surgery, although local control rates may be inferior. There are trade-offs to be made in deciding between surgery and PET. There has been little research to investigate the information needs of older women or the involvement in decision making they wish to have when faced with this breast-cancer treatment decision. This review examines the information needs of older women (>65 years) regarding the use of surgery or PET for treating operable primary breast cancer, and identifies their preferred format and media for the presentation of this information. The preference for involvement in treatment decision-making among this group will also be considered.Current Breast Cancer Reports 09/2014; 6(3):235-244. DOI:10.1007/s12609-014-0159-7
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ABSTRACT: Effective screening tools are available for many of the top cancer killers in the USA. Searching for health information has previously been found to be associated with adhering to cancer screening guidelines, but Internet information seeking has not been examined separately. The current study examines the relationship between health and cancer Internet information seeking and adherence to cancer screening guidelines for breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer in a large nationally representative dataset. The current study was conducted using data from the Health Information National Trends Survey from 2003 and 2007. The study examined age-stratified models which correlated health and cancer information seeking with getting breast, cervical, and colorectal cancer screening on schedule, while controlling for several key variables. Internet health and cancer information seeking was positively associated with getting Pap screening on schedule, while information seeking from any sources was positively associated with getting colorectal screening on schedule. People who look for health or cancer information are more likely to get screened on schedule. Some groups of people, however, do not exhibit this relationship and, thus, may be more vulnerable to under-screening. These groups may benefit more from targeted interventions that attempt to engage people in their health care more actively.Journal of Cancer Education 01/2015; DOI:10.1007/s13187-015-0791-6 · 1.05 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Objectives: To identify websites with adequate information on oral cancer screening for healthcare professionals (HCPs) and to assess both their quality and contents. Study Design: Websites were identified using Google and HON medical professional search engines using the terms "screening for oral cancer". The first 100 sites retrieved by each engine were analysed using the DISCERN questionnaire (reliability), the V instrument (contents on oral cancer) and further by the Flesch-Kinkaid Reading Grade Level and the Flesch Reading Ease (readability). Results: The overall rating showed minimal shortcomings in the quality of the information in the websites. The coverage and correctness of information on "visual examination" was rated as fair/good, whereas updating of contents resulted very variable (eg: 81% for visual examination and 18.2% for molecular biomarkers). These results permitted to rank the websites housing relevant information for oral cancer. Top ranking websites were affiliated to the Oral Cancer Foundation (USA), WHO Collaborating Centre for oral cancer (UK) whose webpage is entitled "Oral Cancer Education and Research", and the Clinical Guidelines maintained by the British Columbia Cancer Agency (Canada) and the British Dental Association (UK) respectively. Conclusions: There are web-based, HCP-addressed, resources on screening for oral cancer housing heterogeneous information both in quality and contents. The use of specific evaluation tools permits the selection of reliable websites on this topic with a potential to improve the existing educational gaps among HCPs.Medicina oral, patologia oral y cirugia bucal 12/2014; DOI:10.4317/medoral.20163 · 1.10 Impact Factor