Patients, professionals and the internet: renegotiating the healthcare encounter

Laing, Angus, Newholm, Terry, Keeling, Debbie Isobel, Speier, Diane, Hogg, Gill, Minocha, Shailey and Davies, Linda (2009) Patients, professionals and the internet: renegotiating the healthcare encounter. Project Report. Queen's Printer and Controller of HMSO.

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Use of the internet by patients has attracted widespread attention in the popular media. Using the image of hard-pressed doctors besieged by patients waving internet-printout, it is suggested that internet information changes the doctor-patient relationship. The purpose of this research is to examine the extent to which patients search for health information on the internet; how this affects the medical consultation; and how the selection of treatment and outcome is affected. Focusing on three medical conditions where extensive information is available on the internet - cancer, diabetes and depression - the research will gather data from patients and doctors in primary and secondary care. A questionnaire survey will be used to measure the extent to which patients use the internet for finding healthcare information. The effect of the information use on the doctor-patient relationship and patients' health will be examined through the audio-recording of consultations, diary-keeping and interviews. Additionally observation of patients' online searching behaviour will be used to understand how patients judge the quality of information. Online interviews and observation of discussions will be used to understand the nature and role of web-based disease related discussion communities. By providing detailed evidence about how patients use internet based health information the research will enable doctors and healthcare managers to (a) design services to respond to changing patient expectations and requirements, (b) develop systems to support patients in acquiring and evaluating health information, and (c) ensure the appropriate training of healthcare professionals. The research will be overseen by an advisory board comprising patient, professional and NHS representatives. The results of the research will be published through a range of popular and professional media to ensure that the results of the research inform policy and practice.

Item Type: Reports and working papers (Project Report)
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > Business and Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
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Depositing User: Debbie Keeling
Date Deposited: 27 Jun 2017 08:28
Last Modified: 27 Jun 2017 08:28
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