Health Information on the Web and Consumers’ Perspectives on Health Professionals’ Responses to Information Exchange

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This article provides preliminary information on users' perceptions of the extent to which use of the Internet for health information impacts medical encounters.

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11 p.

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Seçkin, Gül July 8, 2017.

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This article provides preliminary information on users' perceptions of the extent to which use of the Internet for health information impacts medical encounters.

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11 p.

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ABSTRACT

Background: Health information technology, which is sometimes referred to as informaticization of medicine, is changing the extent to which patients become competent producers of their own health by enabling them access to health information anytime and anywhere.

Objective: This research provides preliminary information on users' perceptions of the extent to which use of the Internet for health information impacts medical encounters. We specifically explored the following questions: (1) To what extent perceptions of positive or negative changes in medical encounters are associated with sociodemographic background of online health information seekers, and how often the Internet information is discussed with providers? (2) To what extent is there an association between perceived changes in medical encounters and frequency of referring to the Internet during medical encounters? (3) To what extent is there an association between sociodemographic background of online health information users and frequency of discussing of the Internet information with providers?

Methods: The data for this study was derived from a national sampling of online health and medical information users who participated in the Study of Health and Medical Information in Cyberspace—Survey of User Perceptions (N=710). This study used a nationally representative online research panel of the US adults maintained by the Knowledge Networks. Analysis of variance (ANOVA), chi-square, and t tests were performed to examine the data.

Results: Although Internet sources allow people the opportunity to gather health or medical information, discussion of this information was not a very common activity. It is noteworthy that half of the sample never or rarely discussed health/medical information obtained from Internet sources with health professionals. Chi-square analyses revealed that discussion of online health information with providers were associated with education, income, and marital status. We also found that discussion of the Internet information mostly promotes better physician-patient interactions. Analyses with post-hoc tests identified that perceived changes in medical encounters were associated with age, education, and income. However, 9.1% (64/703) of our respondents strongly agreed that the interactions with their providers have been strained. T test analyses showed that marital status, race, and gender were not significant.

Conclusions: Embracing new technologies, and adapting to changing roles and relationships in delivery of medical care are critical to effective delivery of patient-centered care. Health professionals could also guide patients on how to evaluate information and where to access to reliable and accurate information.

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  • Medicine 2.0, 2014. Toronto, ON: Journal of Medical Internet Research Publications

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  • Publication Title: Medicine 2.0
  • Volume: 3
  • Issue: 2
  • Pages: 1-11
  • Peer Reviewed: Yes

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  • December 31, 2013

Accepted Date

  • April 28, 2014

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  • July 8, 2017

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 30, 2017, 9:17 a.m.

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Seçkin, Gül. Health Information on the Web and Consumers’ Perspectives on Health Professionals’ Responses to Information Exchange, article, July 8, 2017; Toronto, Ontario. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1042585/: accessed October 23, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Arts and Sciences.