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The Impact of Medical or Health-Related Internet Searches on Patient Compliance: The Dr. Net Study

The Impact of Medical or Health-Related Internet Searches on Patient Compliance: The Dr. Net Study
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Author(s): Sara Wilcox (Saint James School of Medicine, USA), Olha Huzo (Saint James School of Medicine, USA), Annu Minhas (Saint James School of Medicine, USA), Nicole Walters (Saint James School of Medicine, USA), Joel Ehis Adada (Saint James School of Medicine, USA), Mary Pennington (Saint James School of Medicine, USA), Luckner Roseme (Saint James School of Medicine, USA), Denelle Mohammed (Saint James School of Medicine, USA), Aleksandar Dusic (Xavier School of Medicine, Aruba) and Rana Zeine (Kean University, USA)
Copyright: 2022
Pages: 26
Source title: Handbook of Research on Cyberchondria, Health Literacy, and the Role of Media in Society’s Perception of Medical Information
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Hacer Aker (Selcuk University, Turkey) and Mary Aiken (University of East London, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8630-3.ch005

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Abstract

Health-related Internet searches have been associated with cyberchondria and can impact how patients receive and react to medical advice. The purpose of this study was to analyze the relationships between patient compliance and the experiences of 191 Internet information seekers from >12 countries and 27 occupations, surveyed online between 2015 and 2016 using the ‘Dr. Net' questionnaire. After Internet search, 75% agreed with the diagnosis given by their doctor and 83% remained compliant with their doctor's orders. Statistical analysis using Kruskal-Wallis H test (“one-way ANOVA on ranks”) and Spearman correlation coefficient revealed strong positive correlations (p < 0.001) between compliance and each of the following: finding the search helpful (86%), being satisfied with Internet information (71%), becoming more cautious about health (60%), finding the information provided by their doctor comprehensible (71%), and agreement with physician. Recommendations are discussed for increasing ehealth literacy and patient-physician trust with improved online medical information.

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