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: The Internet is one of the main resources of health information especially for young adults, but website content is not always trustworthy or validated. Little is known about this specific population and the importance of online health searches for use and impact. It is fundamental to assess behaviors and attitudes of young people looking for online health-related information and their level of trust in such information. The objective is to describe the characteristics of Internet users aged 15-30 years who use the Web as a health information resource and their trust in it, and to define the context and the effect of such use on French young adults' behavior in relation to their medical consultations. We used the French Health Barometer 2010, a nationally representative survey of 27,653 individuals that investigates population health behaviors and concerns. Multivariate logistic regressions were performed using a subsample of 1052 young adults aged 15-30 years to estimate associations between demographics, socioeconomic, and health status and (1) the use of the Internet to search for health information, and (2) its impact on health behaviors and the physician-patient relationship. In 2010, 48.5% (474/977) of Web users aged 15-30 years used the Internet for health purposes. Those who did not use the Internet for health purposes reported being informed enough by other sources (75.0%, 377/503), stated they preferred seeing a doctor (74.1%, 373/503) or did not trust the information on the Internet (67.2%, 338/503). However, approximately 80% (371/474) of young online health seekers considered the information found online reliable. Women (P<.001) and people with higher sociocultural positions (OR 0.5, 95% CI 0.3-0.9 and OR 0.4, 95% CI 0.2-0.7 for employees and manual workers, respectively, vs individuals with executive or manager positions) were more likely to use the Internet for health purposes. For a subsample of women only, online health seeking was more likely among those having a child (OR 1.8, 95% CI 1.1-2.7) and experiencing psychological distress (OR 2.0, 95% CI 1.0-4.0). Finally, for online health seekers aged 15-30 years, one-third (33.3%, 157/474) reported they changed their health behaviors (eg, frequency of medical consultations, way of taking care of one's own health) because of their online searches. Different factors were associated with different outcomes of change, but psychological distress, poor quality of life, and low income were the most common. The Internet is a useful tool to spread health information and prevention campaigns, especially to target young adults. Young adults trust online information and consider the Internet as a valid source of health advice. Health agencies should ensure the improvement of online health information quality and the creation of health-related websites and programs dedicated to young adults.Journal of Medical Internet Research 01/2014; 16(5):e128. · 4.67 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Examine the factors that are associated with awareness of physician quality information (PQI) among older people with one or more chronic illnesses and the implications for Medicare.Medicare & medicaid research review. 01/2014; 4(2).
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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.