The general public's use of (and attitudes towards) interactive, personal digital health information and advisory services

Department of Information Science, City University London, Londinium, England, United Kingdom
Journal of Documentation (Impact Factor: 1.06). 05/2004; 60(3). DOI: 10.1108/00220410410534167
Source: OAI


Examines statistically the public's use and attitudes towards interactive and personal health services via an online questionnaire survey and enhances these data with an expert assessment of a number of consumer health sites and their services. Over a period of three weeks more than 1,300 people responded to an online questionnaire produced by The British Life and Internet Project. Of the respondents, 81 per cent were British. The likely potential uptake figure for support group participation among Internet health users is about 20 per cent while around 11 to 13 per cent will go online to describe a medical condition. Those in poor heath were approximately ten to 13 times more likely to have participated in an online support group. Those aged over 65 were four times as likely to e-mail their doctor. More positive health outcomes were associated with those respondents that participated in online support groups and the least number of health outcomes were associated with those people that maintained e-mail contact with a doctor or surgery.

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Available from: David Nicholas, Dec 03, 2014
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    • "Large-scale, primarily survey-based studies continue apace. In the UK, a significant body of work examining health information seeking has been produced by David Nicholas, Paul Huntington, and associates at the Centre for information Behaviour and the Evaluation of Research (CIBER) (see, for example, Huntington et al., 2004; Nicholas JDOC 68,3 et al., 2003). In France, Renahy et al. (2010) continue to survey online health information seeking in the general population. "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose – By selectively reviewing theory-driven survey studies on internet health information seeking, the paper aims to provide an informal assessment of the theoretical foundations and research methods that have been used to study this information behavior. Design/methodology/approach – After a review of the literature, four theory-driven quantitative survey studies are analyzed in detail. Each study is examined in terms of: theoretical framework; research variables that form the focus of the study; research design (sampling, data collection and analysis); and findings and results of hypothesis testing and model testing. The authors then discuss the theoretical models and analytical methods adopted, and identify suggestions that could be helpful to future researchers. Findings – Taken as a whole, the studies reviewed point strongly to the need for multidisciplinary frameworks that can capture the complexity of online health information behavior. The studies developed theoretical frameworks by drawing from many sources – theory of planned behavior, technology acceptance model, uses and gratifications, health belief model, and information seeking models – demonstrating that an integration of theoretical perspectives from the health sciences, social psychology, communication research, and information science, is required to fully understand this behavior. The results of these studies suggest that the conceptual models and analytical methods they adopted are viable and promising. Many relationships tested showed large effect sizes, and the models evaluated were able to account for between 23 and 50 percent of the variance in the dependent variables. Originality/value – The paper represents a first attempt to compare, evaluate, and to a degree synthesize the work that has been done to develop and test theoretical models of health information seeking on the web.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2012 · Journal of Documentation
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    • "Culver et al. (1997) discuss the issue of people with no formal training in medicine recalling their personal experiences which, based on a comparaison n'est pas raison more valid for medical cases than for any other situation, may be not only unhelpful for other patients, but even harmful. While anonymity is one of the main reasons for which people join health-related groups and forums (Huntington et al., 2003), it is also their main shortcoming, as the reliability of the information can't be properly checked. Still, as White and Dorman (2001) argue, users gradually correct misleading information, meaning that these groups follow the self-filtering dynamics of the internet, taken as a whole. "
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    ABSTRACT: The paper discusses the issue of patients’ trust in Romanian healthcare system, from the point of view of the information they get from the internet. Using cross-tabulations, correlations, and factorial analysis, based on data from the European Values Survey, we track the influence that internet literacy may have on healthcare related behaviour, choice, and trust. Further research should include primary data collection, in order to ensure a better focus on the niche we are interested in, and investigate adjacent factors which may interfere with healthcarerelated information retrieval and formation of patients’ trust in the healthcare system.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2010
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    • "Online survey • 66% of the respondents accessed the Internet from home or work • 85% had accessed the Internet in the last six months, 50% in the last month and 18% in the last week • over 80% of the respondents stated that they had used the Internet for health information CIBER study2: Nicholas et al, (2001) Online survey • 80% of health information seekers were female most online health information seekers were aged 35-54 with very few respondents over 75 • 94% of the respondents had no medical background CIBER study3: Huntington et al. (2003) Online survey • Main reasons for searching online health information are: 'alternative remedy', 'staying fit and healthy' or 'keeping up to date' • Use of health websites is influenced by users' age: Netdoctor ( users tended to be younger than SurgeryDoor ( users, and NHS Direct Online users came from a higher income bracket CIBER study4: Huntington et al., (2004) Online survey age, occupation, health status and the type of information sought affected interest in online services such as support groups and contacting online doctors "
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    ABSTRACT: Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to report on a research designed to find out how people in Scotland access and use online health information. Design/methodology/approach – It is based on a survey of two sets of population in Glasgow – a group of 64 users from the general public and a group of 24 post graduate students from a university in Glasgow. Findings – Use of the Internet for health information was found to be much lower in Scotland than in the previous UK studies particularly those using online surveys. It was noted that people searched online health information for themselves, family and friends. Healthy eating, exercise and alternative medicine were the most commonly sought topics. Approximately half the survey participants felt online health information influenced their treatment. Originality/value – The study incorporates both Internet users and non-users, as well as proficient internet users, and therefore provides a more balanced view.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2007 · Journal of Documentation
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