Posted in E-Patient

Patients’ Internet use a predictor for participation in their own care

 

Is there a significant relationship between Internet use frequency and the overall preferences for obtaining health information and decision-making autonomy?

Patients who use the Internet more frequently are more likely to embrace patient-centered healthcare efforts and participate in their own care, according to a study published this week in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

For the study, researchers from the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Florida and the University of Maryland examined Internet use patterns of 438 people. They asked the group two questions:

Is there a significant relationship between Internet use frequency and the overall preferences for obtaining health information and decision-making autonomy?

Does the relationship between Internet use frequency and information and decision-making preferences differ with respect to seven different aspects of health conditions–diagnosis, treatment, laboratory testing, self-care, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), psychosocial aspect and healthcare providers?

According to the researchers, the findings will be important for care efforts moving forward. “When medical professionals attempt to gauge how much information to provide patients or try to decide how much they should involve patients in medical decision-making, they may be better off if they base their decisions on patients’ Internet use frequency rather than age, per se,” they said.

See on www.fiercehealthit.com

2 thoughts on “Patients’ Internet use a predictor for participation in their own care

  1. Hello Marie,
    My first reaction to this study was that its results may in fact say more about the age of the participants than about the correlation between internet usage and patient-centred health care. For example, study subjects were divided into two groups: 226 college undergraduates (mean age of 20) and 212 older adults (mean age of 72) with the younger group having “significantly more frequent Internet use” than the older group. So the headlines could have just as accurately read: “Age as a predictor for participation in health care”. What do you think?

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