Patients and the Internet: a demographic study of a cohort of orthopaedic out-patients

A. C. Jariwala, M. S. Kandasamy, R. J. Abboud, C. A. Wigderowitz

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    24 Citations (Scopus)


    The Internet is a rich source of medical information but relatively few studies have evaluated its use by patients who seek medical information. The purpose of this study is to assess the demographics of Internet access and attitudes towards the Internet in a cohort of orthopaedic out-patients. Four hundred and three patients attending the orthopaedic outpatient fracture clinic completed a questionnaire consisting of six divisions including personal information, facility to access the Internet and their attitudes towards the information retrieved. Fifty per cent of the patients accessed the Internet, either from home or office and the maximum usage being in the younger age group. Twenty-nine percent of the patients were aware of the medical information available through the Internet. 19% patients would like to have a consultation through the Internet, the maximum being in the middle-aged group. 70% of those patients who accessed the medical information reported that the Internet information was different than that obtained at consultation with the doctor at the out-patient clinic. This study reveals that the Internet use by patients is still limited. If an increased percentage of medical conditions is to be addressed through the Internet, involving patient information, on-line consultations, prescriptions and referrals, then a substantial amount of patient education and training is required Keywords: Patients, Internet, information technology.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)103-106
    Number of pages4
    JournalSurgeon: Journal of the Royal Colleges of Surgeons of Edinburgh and Ireland
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2004


    • Patients
    • Internet
    • Information technology


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