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: The numbers of children and young people with chronic conditions are increasing. While their information needs may vary, providing health care information can have considerable benefits, including better emotional health, less distress during treatments, and greater satisfaction with medical care. The Internet is increasingly being used to communicate health-related information to children about a range of chronic conditions. However, the quality of such websites is underexplored. Thus, the objectives of this study were to evaluate the reliability and quality of online information for children about chronic conditions using a standardized evaluation tool, and to explore children's and young people's perceptions of quality and trustworthiness regarding online health information. The study consisted of two phases. In Phase 1, websites about common pediatric chronic conditions aimed at children and containing treatment or management options were identified and the quality assessment tool DISCERN was completed. Test-retest and interrater reliability were calculated. In Phase 2, two focus groups with laptop computers were conducted with children and young people with a chronic condition to explore their perceptions of trustworthiness of online health information. In Phase 1, 165 websites were identified and 100 met the criteria and were assessed. The mean DISCERN score of all sites was 48.16 out of 75 (SD = 7.97, range 28-71, min 15 to max 75). Quality scores varied widely across the sample. The internal consistency and interrater reliability scores were both lower than previously reported in studies using the DISCERN to assess information for adults. In Phase 2, two focus groups with a total of six participants aged 11-23 years revealed a relative lack of concern about the quality and trustworthiness of online health information. Older participants reported judging the source and authorship of websites, but other participants did not question the source of the information they found online. Although personal websites were perceived to be less reliable than those from well-known medical institutions, they were still valued by many of the participants. Overall, there were relatively few websites about pediatric chronic conditions aimed at children, with variable quality and reliability. However, DISCERN's use with pediatric websites across a broad spectrum of developmental stages is limited. Children and young people demonstrated a need for more guidance around assessing trustworthiness of online information. A more appropriate quality assessment tool is warranted, which could usefully be employed by health care professionals, children, and parents.Health Communication 10/2013; · 0.97 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The aim of the study is to assess the use of a web-based tool to calculate the 5-year risk of developing type 2 diabetes mellitus, the German Diabetes Risk Score (DRS), in a real-life setting. Recorded web server log information and user entered data (n=24,495) was analyzed. To distinguish information seeking behavior between high- and low-risk DRS records, a sub-sample was created to compare data entries of the highest and lowest risk quintile (n=5046). To learn more on the information seeking behavior of DRS users we created a dataset on the characteristics of those who calculate more than one DRS (n=11,902). Most users (61%) entered the DRS without a referring website. Forty percent of users did not know their waist circumference. Visit duration among high-risk DRS records was almost 1.5 min longer compared to low-risk DRS records (p-value<0.001). Those who calculated multiple DRS were associated with a higher first DRS and male gender. Understanding users' website utilization is an important step to evaluate risk calculator websites. A range of media should be used conjointly to raise type 2 diabetes mellitus risk awareness. Risk websites should be linked to patient information pages.Patient Education and Counseling 04/2011; 83(1):106-12. · 2.60 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Objective This study aims to examine trends in studies of teens’ health information behaviour.Methods Eighty-two articles published between 2000 and 2012 were selected and analysed in various aspects: health topics by year, information sources, data collection methods, use of theories and models, collaborative and interdisciplinary efforts and published journals.ResultsFifty-seven per cent of the studies focused on specific health topics, such as sexual health, while the rest covered general health topics. Almost half of the studies examined how teens search for and use health information on the Internet. Surveys were the most popular data collection technique. Only 12.2% were based on a theory or model. About 42% were conducted collaboratively by authors from multiple disciplines.Discussion and Conclusions With the increasing attention to specific health topics and online resources, the health information behaviour of teens has been examined more frequently since the mid-2000s. Its interdisciplinary nature was evidently shown from various disciplines that the authors were affiliated with and the journals of the published studies represented. This study suggests that there should be efforts to reflect new technology tools, apply mixed methods and increase the engagement level of collaboration to evolve this research domain.Health Information & Libraries Journal 03/2014; 31(1). · 0.89 Impact Factor