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עמוד בית
Tue, 30.11.21

Original Articles


The Effect of the Internet on the Patient-Doctor Relationship from the Patient's Perspective: A Survey from Primary Care

Click on the icon on the upper right hand side for the article by Hayley Russ, MD, Shmuel M. Giveon, MD, MPH, Martine Granek Catarivas, MD and John Yaphe, MD.
IMAJ 2011: 13: April: 220-224
Abstract

Background: Internet use by patients as a source of information on health and disease is expanding rapidly with obvious effects on the doctor-patient relationship. Many of these effects remain undocumented or are poorly understood.


Objectives: To assess the use of the internet  for health information by patients in primary care in Israel and their perception of the effects of internet use on their relationship with their doctor.


Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among a convenience sample of patients visiting 10 primary care clinics in central Israel using a questionnaire developed for this survey. The survey examined attitudes to using the internet for health-related information and attitudes to sharing this information with doctors. Associations between demographic variables, internet use and patient satisfaction with the doctor’s response were tested using the chi-square statistic and t-tests.


Results: Completed questionnaires were received from 138 patients; the response rate was 69%. Patients in the study sample had a high rate of internet access (87%), with many using the internet as a source of health information (41%) although most patients using the internet never share this information with their doctor (81%). Among those who share information with the doctor, most felt that this has a positive effect on the relationship (87%). Few patients reported being referred to websites by the doctor (28%).


Conclusions: Internet use is prevalent in this population, though physicians may be unaware of this. Future study may examine the effects of doctors who ask patients actively about their internet use and inform them of relevant health information sources online.

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