Indexed on: 09 Sep '08Published on: 09 Sep '08Published in: Health informatics journal
This prospective questionnaire study investigated access to the Internet and use of the Internet for health related information. Patients attending the senior author's ENT clinic (204 in 2000; 209 in 2006) were asked two questions: do you have access to the Internet? Have you used the Internet to find health related information? Access to the Internet rose from 43 per cent (88) in 2000 to 70 per cent (147) in 2006, a significant increase (p < 0.001). The Internet was used for health related information by only 32 patients (16%) in 2000 but by 114 (55%) in 2006, a dramatic and significant increase (p < 0.001). Clearly patients and their families are increasingly using the Internet to access and seek health information. Clinicians cannot overlook this aspect of health provision when seeking to facilitate the transmission of information to their patients.