Developing policies for e-health: Use of online health information by Australian health professionals and their patients. The HIM Journal, 40(2), 15-22

Education and Professional Studies, Griffith University, Gold Coast campus, QLD, Australia.
The HIM journal (Impact Factor: 1.15). 01/2011; 40(2):15-22.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT An online survey ( was used to identify patterns of usage of health information available on the Internet by five major Australian health professions (AHPs: general practice, social work, dietetics, physiotherapy and optometry. Survey questions were developed to explore participants' responses associated with their level of Internet usage. From the five AHPs (n=746), it was found that social workers and dietitians most frequently recommended health websites to their patients (11-20% of the time throughout a 12-month period [2009]). Health information topics most frequently recommended and brought to health professionals' attention by patients were concerned with "specific health conditions" and the main source professionals used to access health information was identified through the use of "search engines". This study further reports that Internet recommendations from health professionals (1-10%), Internet requests from patients (<1%) and Internet consultation processes (1%), do not mirror similar international research. It is recommended that development of policies that might influence e-health should not be based on a presumption that the use of the Internet for accessing health information is universal or that the Internet strongly influences Australian healthcare delivery.

Download full-text


Available from: Wayne Usher, Sep 27, 2015
20 Reads
  • Source
    • "Lam, Kruger, & Tennant, 2013; Minichiello, Rahman, Dune, Scott, & Dowsett, 2013; Newman & Frank, 2013) and broad quantitative studies (e.g. Anshari, Almunawar, Low, & Wint, 2012; Osborn, Day, & Westbrook, 2009; Osborne & Patel, 2013; Usher, 2011; Wangberg, Andreassen, Kummervold, Wynn, & Sørensen, 2009). This research provides richer analysis of qualitative data to contribute to understanding the e-health community phenomena. "
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Social media and Web 2.0 empower individuals to generate content online. It is important to better understand the potential added value of social media for e-health service provision. Social support and credibility of health related information generated via social media is a big challenge for online health communities. In this qualitative research, content of discussions from an online health community is analysed. Two themes are examined: online social support and credibility of online forums. Findings show accuracy and credibility of online communities - user profiles, ratings of posts and improved monitoring of content by advisors improve perceived credibility and trust in online forums and communities. Accuracy and perceived credibility of online health communities is pivotal in facilitating social relationships. While consumers are concerned about the credibility of online information, they benefit from social support and are increasingly turning to social media as a source of information and support. Organizations can benefit from better understanding consumer's use of social media, their concerns about information credibility and need for social support.
    Journal of Strategic Marketing 05/2014; DOI:10.1080/0965254X.2014.920904
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Migrant well-being can be strongly influenced by the migration experience and subsequent degree of mainstream language acquisition. There is little research on how older Culturally And Linguistically Diverse (CALD) migrants who have ‘aged in place’ find health information, and the role which digital technology plays in this. Although the research for this paper was not focused on cancer, we draw out implications for providing cancer-related information to this group. We interviewed 54 participants (14 men and 40 women) aged 63–94 years, who were born in Italy or Greece, and who migrated to Australia mostly as young adults after World War II. Constructivist grounded theory and social network analysis were used for data analysis. Participants identified doctors, adult children, local television, spouse, local newspaper and radio as the most important information sources. They did not generally use computers, the Internet or mobile phones to access information. Literacy in their birth language, and the degree of proficiency in understanding and using English, influenced the range of information sources accessed and the means used. The ways in which older CALD migrants seek and access information has important implications for how professionals and policymakers deliver relevant information to them about cancer prevention, screening, support and treatment, particularly as information and resources are moved online as part of e-health.
    European Journal of Cancer Care 09/2014; 23(6). DOI:10.1111/ecc.12241 · 1.56 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Health care sciences and services research (HCSSR) has come to the fore in recent years and related research literature increased rapidly over the last few decades. The main purpose of this study is to describe the global progress and to determine the current trends on HCSSR by using a scientometrics approach to survey related literature in the Web of Science database from 1900 to 2012. The document types, languages, publication patterns, subject categories, journals, geographic and institutional distributions, top cited articles, and the distribution of keywords were thoroughly examined. The results show that HCSSR has increased rapidly over the past 20 years, most notably in the last decade. In total, there are currently 128,728 research articles in 156 journals listed in 39 WoS subject categories. The top 20 most productive countries, and institutions were analyzed in detail, and 11 frequently cited papers and research foci were identified based on citation analysis. HCSSR spans many disciplines and focuses mainly on public, environmental & occupational health and education educational research. Medical Care, Academic Medicine, Health Affairs and Journal of School Health are the core journals with both high quantity and quality. High-income countries make up the leading nations, especially G7 countries. Meanwhile, "emerging economies" are also increasingly engaging this field. American and Canadian institutions have made greater advances in productions, citations, and cooperation, with stronger and better development prospects overall. The hot topics include internet use and decision making in health care, palliative care and end of life research, health status and quality of life, quality of healthcare and patient's satisfaction, medical education, and health communication. Also, most researchers tend to study health care sciences based on the topics of quality-of-life assessment, and their interest in quality-of-life measures has increased. Increasing attention has been paid to the developing countries, especially "emerging economies" like China. Although health research has made much progress, many questions still remain unanswered and there are few assessments of how well research systems carry out their essential functions. Hence, there is currently an urgent need for timely establishment of an effective health research system.
    Scientometrics 10/2014; 101(1):751-779. DOI:10.1007/s11192-014-1383-7 · 2.18 Impact Factor
Show more