.The purpose of this literature review is to provide an overview of research studies published from 2006 to 2010 in English language of online health information-seeking behaviour by adults from the perspective of both the health consumer and the health professional.
This report published by European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) shows the interest in the internet as a communication tool for health-related information is growing rapidly.
Internet-based health information is accessed from a variety of sources, including websites run by organisations, homepages run by individuals, and online support groups where people actively exchange health information and blogs. As more people use the internet as a source of health information the issue of source credibility and trust in websites becomes important.
One of the more surprising findings of the literature review is that 80 percent of physicians reported that patients presented printed internet-sourced health information at visits – a challenge to the traditional doctor–patient relationship.
The literature review also shows that women are more likely than men to search for health information and that online health consumers tend to be more educated, earn more, and have high-speed internet access at home and at work.
Higgins O.; Sixsmith J.; Barry MM.; Domegan C.: A literature review on health information-seeking behaviour on the web: a health consumer and health professional perspective. Technical report, Stockholm, ECDC; 2011, 12 págs.