Patients, Professionals and the Internet: Renegotiating the Healthcare Encounter

Laing, Angus; Newholm, Terry; Keeling, Debbie; Speier, Diane; Hogg, Gill; Minocha, Shailey and Davies, Linda (2010). Patients, Professionals and the Internet: Renegotiating the Healthcare Encounter. National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), Service Delivery and Organisation (NIHR SDO) programme, UK.

URL: http://www.nets.nihr.ac.uk/projects/hsdr/081602130

Abstract

The aim of this research was to examine how patient use of internet information impinges on the utilisation of healthcare services. The research had the following objectives:

+ to quantify the extent, and patterns, of patients use of the internet as a health information resource and identify the factors leading to variations in behaviour.

+ to identify the search strategies employed by patients in accessing internet health information internet and the evaluative approaches used in assessing information quality.

+ to analyse the content and dynamics of virtual health communities and how participation in such communities is integrated into engagement with health services.

+ to document the evolving nature of patient-professional interaction arising from patient access to health information and the subsequent format of the healthcare encounter.

+ to assess the effect of changing patient access to information and changes in the healthcare encounter on patterns of patient decision making and health behaviours.

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