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

Paul Huntington (Ciber, Department of Information Science, City University, London, UK)
David Nicholas (Ciber, Department of Information Science, City University, London, UK)
Janet Homewood (Ciber, Department of Information Science, City University, London, UK)
Panayiota Polydoratou (Ciber, Department of Information Science, City University, London, UK)
Barrie Gunter (Ciber, Department of Information Science, City University, London, UK)
Chris Russell (Ciber, Department of Information Science, City University, London, UK)
Richard Withey (Ciber, Department of Information Science, City University, London, UK)

Journal of Documentation

ISSN: 0022-0418

Article publication date: 1 June 2004

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Citation

Huntington, P., Nicholas, D., Homewood, J., Polydoratou, P., Gunter, B., Russell, C. and Withey, R. (2004), "The general public's use of (and attitudes towards) interactive, personal digital health information and advisory services", Journal of Documentation, Vol. 60 No. 3, pp. 245-265. https://doi.org/10.1108/00220410410534167

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited