Patients, Professionals and the Internet: Renegotiating the Healthcare Encounter

(2010). Patients, Professionals and the Internet: Renegotiating the Healthcare Encounter. National Institute of Health Research (NIHR), Service Delivery and Organisation (NIHR SDO) programme, UK.



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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