Using Web 2.0 Technologies to Enhance Evidence-Based Medical Information

Department of Communication, University of California, Santa Barbara, California 93106, USA.
Journal of Health Communication (Impact Factor: 1.61). 07/2011; 16 Suppl 1(sup1):45-58. DOI: 10.1080/10810730.2011.589881
Source: PubMed


This article invokes research on information seeking and evaluation to address how providers of evidence-based medical information can use Web 2.0 technologies to increase access to, enliven users' experiences with, and enrich the quality of the information available. In an ideal scenario, evidence-based medical information can take appropriate advantage of community intelligence spawned by Web 2.0 technologies, resulting in the ideal combination of scientifically sound, high-quality information that is imbued with experiential insights from a multitude of individuals. To achieve this goal, the authors argue that people will engage with information that they can access easily, and that they perceive as (a) relevant to their information-seeking goals and (b) credible. The authors suggest the utility of Web 2.0 technologies for engaging stakeholders with evidence-based medical information through these mechanisms, and the degree to which the information provided can and should be trusted. Last, the authors discuss potential problems with Web 2.0 information in relation to decision making in health contexts, and they conclude with specific and practical recommendations for the dissemination of evidence-based health information via Web 2.0 technologies.

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    • "Social media is an interactive and sometimes face-to-face information distribution channel, and it is therefore considered a more reliable media than passive Internet pages [14]. It is unlikely that users evaluate critically the motives behind the information given [14]. Because the reliability of health information distributed through social media tools may be contradictory to medical guidelines [5] and because commercial interests may play a large role in delivering health information on social media [15], it is clear that information in line with current medical guidelines should also be easily accessible through social media channels. "
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    ABSTRACT: BackgroundSocial media is used increasingly by the general public to access health information. However, a lack of models for health information distribution limits the presence of publicly funded services on social media sites.ObjectiveThe goal of the study was to present a model for delivering child health information to parents through a social media site.MethodsA Facebook site was launched for 11 months based on a question-and-answer service produced by a pediatrician and open to Facebook users over 18 years old. If the answer did not include a further referral to a health care service provider, the question was considered comprehensively answered. The site was funded by a pharmaceutical company, and it included an advertisement of a pharmaceutical product for children’s fever and pain.ResultsDuring the study, 768 questions were submitted: an average of 69.8 (SD 31.7) per month. There were 245,533 independent Facebook users on the site, with an average of 727.0 (SD 2280.6) per day. Infections were the most common theme in questions (355/768, 46.2%). Questions were more likely to be comprehensively answered if they were related to infections (279/355, 78.6%) than questions related to non-infectious symptoms (265/423, 64.2%, P=.003).ConclusionsOn this site aimed at parents of small children, personalized answers were an effective way of delivering information. The service is likely to have reduced the need for further contacts with a health care service provider in more than half of the cases. The site could serve as a model for publicly funded health information distribution.
    No preview · Article · Sep 2014 · Journal of Medical Internet Research
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    • "There is a growing body of evidence that health consumers increasingly rely on the Internet for health information [1]–[8]. This increase is largely due to 1) the immense abundance of online information [9], [10], decision aids [11] and Web 2.0 health applications [10], [12], [13], 2) the increasing prevalence of chronic disease in society [14], and 3) the pervasiveness and accessibility of Information Technology in our daily lives [15]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Health information on the Internet is ubiquitous, and its use by health consumers prevalent. Finding and understanding relevant online health information, and determining content reliability, pose real challenges for many health consumers. To identify the types of interventions that have been implemented to assist health consumers to find reliable online health information, and where possible, describe and compare the types of outcomes studied. PubMed, PsycINFO, CINAHL Plus and Cochrane Library databases; WorldCat and Scirus 'gray literature' search engines; and manual review of reference lists of selected publications. Publications were selected by firstly screening title, abstract, and then full text. Seven publications met the inclusion criteria, and were summarized in a data extraction form. The form incorporated the PICOS (Population Intervention Comparators Outcomes and Study Design) Model. Two eligible gray literature papers were also reported. Relevant data from included studies were tabulated to enable descriptive comparison. A brief critique of each study was included in the tables. This review was unable to follow systematic review methods due to the paucity of research and humanistic interventions reported. While extensive, the gray literature search may have had limited reach in some countries. The paucity of research on this topic limits conclusions that may be drawn. The few eligible studies predominantly adopted a didactic approach to assisting health consumers, whereby consumers were either taught how to find credible websites, or how to use the Internet. Common types of outcomes studied include knowledge and skills pertaining to Internet use and searching for reliable health information. These outcomes were predominantly self-assessed by participants. There is potential for further research to explore other avenues for assisting health consumers to find reliable online health information, and to assess outcomes via objective measures.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · PLoS ONE
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    • "Internet and Web 2.0 information technologies provide a rather complex and vast information landscape with an abundance of medical information (Masters, 2008). This abundance of online healthcare information, however, provides an additional obstacle when doctors' are seeking information to satisfy real life clinical related information needs (Metzger & Flanagin, 2011). Furthermore, some authors challenge the effectiveness of various medical information resources because of the fact that most doctors go directly to the sites they know and they trust (Hughes et al., 2010). "
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    ABSTRACT: Regulation of clinical practice is a characteristic aspect of the medical profession. Regardless of whether this regulation derives from government-sourced guidelines or materials from government-sponsored institutions, it results in a high production of information resources (institutional information resources), which are disseminated to the clinical stuff in order to ensure compliance. In that case, the issue of credibility of these information resources might arise, since medical practice is characterized by a high frequency of change. The latter involves a continuous effort on the part of the clinical staff, which is motivated by work-related factors (e.g., need for compliance) or personal motivation (e.g., need for self-improvement). In this study we consider a simple trust model, according to which we assume that perceived trust is a direct antecedent of perceived credibility. We evaluate whether work-related or personal motivating factors influence the relation between perceived credibility and trust toward institutional information sources and how the effect of each factor affects this relation. Findings suggest that work-related factors have a higher impact on the relation between credibility and trust than personal motivation factors, while they are stressing the important role of hospital libraries as a dissemination point for government-sponsored information resources.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · International Journal of Information Management
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