Enquiring minds want to know: topics requested by users of a children's health information website.
ABSTRACT To investigate health information needs of users of a health information website for children and young people.
A prospective analysis was conducted of unsolicited information requests to the Children First for Health (www.childrenfirst.nhs.uk) website, an NHS-run health and hospital online information resource for children, young people and families. All specific and general enquiries were recorded prospectively and coded according to health topic, age of the enquirer and web pages accessed.
There were 2865 (62%) general health information and 924 (21%) specific enquiries received over an 18-month period (6.3 enquiries per day). More general enquiries were received about adolescent (64%) than children's (36%) health issues. The most common topics were psychosocial issues, hospital and health services, and normal growth and development. Only 1% of requests for information related to smoking, alcohol and drugs.
Children and adolescents are active users of the Internet for health information. The results of this study highlight the health topics that are of greatest interest to children and young people.
The findings provide objective data on health information topics of interest to UK children and young people and can be used to guide development of health information aimed at UK youth.
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ABSTRACT: Health-related websites have the potential to powerfully influence the attitudes and behavior of consumers. Access to reliable disease information online has been linked to reduced anxiety, increased feelings of self-efficacy, and decreases in utilization of ambulatory care. Studies report that Internet health information seekers are more likely to have health concerns; adult seekers are more likely to rate themselves as having poor health status and adolescent seekers are more likely to demonstrate clinical impairment or depressive symptomatology compared to non-seekers. Although more and more Americans are using the Internet for healthcare information, little is known about how this information affects their health behaviors. The current study extends the literature by examining characteristics associated with help seeking, either from a healthcare provider or from peers, as a direct result of health information found online. Medical care seekers appear to be using the Internet to enhance their medical care; they report using the information online to diagnose a problem and feel more comfortable about their health provider's advice given the information found on the Internet. Support seekers tend to be of slightly lower income compared to non-support seekers. They are also significantly more likely to have searched for information about a loved one's medical or health condition, signaling that many of these consumers may be caretakers.International Journal of Medical Informatics 02/2006; 75(1):29-41. · 2.06 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Ciao is a website specifically designed for young people and focuses mainly on health issues. This report presents the process of setting up the site and a first evaluation undertaken by using two self-administered questionnaires administered via the website itself. It suggests that it is possible to provide young people with authoritative health information and to facilitate their access to counseling and health care facilities by having young people use such a website.Journal of Adolescent Health 11/2003; 33(4):287-90. · 2.97 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The internet is one of a range of health information sources available to adolescents. It is recognised that young people have difficulties accessing traditional health services; in theory, the internet offers them confidential and convenient access to an unprecedented level of information about a diverse range of subjects. This could redress adolescents' state of relative health 'information poverty', compared to adults. This paper seeks to explore United Kingdom (UK) and United States (US) adolescents' perceptions and experiences of using the internet to find information about health and medicines, in the context of the other health information sources that are available to them. The study involved a series of 26 single-gender focus groups with 157 English-speaking students aged 11-19 years from the UK and the US. Many students reported that the internet was their primary general information source. Information sources were defined during analysis in terms of previous experience of the source, saliency of the available information, and credibility of the source (defined in terms of expertise, trustworthiness and empathy). Most focus group participants had extensive personal experience with the internet and some information providers therein (notably search engines). Internet health information was regarded generally as salient. Its saliency was increased through active searching and personalisation. Perceived credibility of the internet varied because expertise and trustworthiness were sometimes difficult to determine, and empathy could be facilitated through online communities but the individual could control disclosure. The internet combines positive features of traditional lay and professional, personal and impersonal sources. Although it is unlikely to supplant the role of trusted peers and adults, the internet has found an important place among adolescents' repertory of health information sources.Social Science [?] Medicine 05/2005; 60(7):1467-78. · 2.73 Impact Factor