A study of patient and or family use of alternative sources of healthcare information

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Hurd, Licia D.
Wood, Brenda
Forlaw, Loretta
Koehn, Mary L.
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Hurd, Licia D., Wood, Brenda , Forlaw, Loretta & Koehn, Mary .(2007). A study of patient and or family use of alternative sources of healthcare information. In Proceedings : 3rd Annual Symposium : Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects. Wichita, KS : Wichita State University, p.77-78.

Background: Healthcare consumers have access to a multitude of health related resources. The internet and other sources of healthcare information are prevalent, but little is known about patients’ and families’ use of these alternative sources of information. Objective: The purpose of this pilot study was to explore whether local healthcare consumers are seeking and/or using more alternative sources of health information related to their personal health care issues. Method: Self-report information was collected via a researcher-developed questionnaire from a convenience sampling of patients and/or family members, age 18 years or older, who had consented to completing the written questionnaire. Results: Approximately 35% of survey participants reported using the internet as a source for health care information; 46% reported using family and friends; while a greater percentage (69%) reported using their physician or nurse as a source for health care information. A higher percentage (19%) of respondents reported trusting the information received from their physician or nurse, while 7% strongly agreed to trusting web-based information. Among respondents who reported sharing the health information found with their doctor or nurse, 54% reported occasionally sharing this information; 27% reported always sharing, and 7% reported never sharing the health care information they found through alternative sources with their healthcare provider. Conclusion: In this study, there was not sufficient evidence to show that more local consumers used the internet, or other sources, to seek health care information. Approximately half of the respondents reported sharing this information with their healthcare providers. Health professionals have an opportunity to not only educate, inform, and engage patients and families in participating in decisionmaking related to their health care, but through communication, may increase the potential for greater health promotion and improved health outcomes.

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Paper presented to the 3rd Annual Symposium on Graduate Research and Scholarly Projects (GRASP) held at the Hughes Metropolitan Complex, Wichita State University, April 27, 2007.
Research completed at the School of Nursing, College of Health Professions
Wichita State University. Graduate School.
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