Health Information on the Web and Consumers’ Perspectives on Health Professionals’ Responses to Information Exchange Page: 1
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Health Information on the Web and Consumers' Perspectives on
Health Professionals' Responses to Information Exchange
Gui Segkin, PhD
University of North Texas, Department of Sociology, University of North Texas, Denton, TX, United States
Gul Segkin, PhD
University of North Texas
Department of Sociology
University of North Texas
1155 Union Circle # 305189
Denton, TX, 76203=5017
Phone: 1 323 371 5912
Fax: 1 940 565 4517
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
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. Ttest 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.
(Med 2.0 2014;3(2):e4) doi:10.2196/med20.3213
health communication; Internet; information; patient-physician relationship
Med 2.0 2014 1 vol. 3 1 iss. 2 1 e4 I p.1
(page number not for citation purposes)
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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/m1/1/: accessed November 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT College of Arts and Sciences.