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NotificationsNotify me of updates to MEDICAL-INFORMATION CONSUMERS: COMPARING THE CHARACTERISTICS OF PATIENTS WITH COPD WHO RECENTLY VISITED THEIR PHYSICIANS AND PATIENTS WHO VISITED A MEDICAL-INFORMATION WEBSITE pp. 169-196
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MEDICAL-INFORMATION CONSUMERS: COMPARING THE CHARACTERISTICS OF PATIENTS WITH COPD WHO RECENTLY VISITED THEIR PHYSICIANS AND PATIENTS WHO VISITED A MEDICAL-INFORMATION WEBSITE pp. 169-196 $0.00
Authors:  Linda Casebeer, Outcomes Inc., Birmingham, Alabama, Joan Arata, Medscape LLC, New York, Rachel Shillman, and Andrew Sanchez Outcomes Inc., Birmingham, Alabama)
Abstract:
Access to the explosion of information available on the internet has allowed patients
living with chronic illnesses to become more direct consumers of medical information
than was possible in pre-internet times. In fact, searching for medical information is one
of the top reasons for online information seeking. Self-efficacy has been associated with
better healthcare outcomes in patients with chronic illnesses. Being informed about a
chronic illness and its treatment options is an important aspect of self-efficacy.
In a recent study, investigators surveyed more than 1500 patients living with chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), including: 1) patients who had recently visited
their physicians; these physicians had been either participants or non-participants in
online continuing medical education (CME) activities focused on COPD, and 2) patients
who sought information from a large consumer website. Using responses from these
healthcare consumers, the study examined the associations between feeling informed
about COPD and the control of COPD.
Patients who visited the medical-information website had surprisingly different
characteristics from patients who had recently visited their physicians. As a group,
patients visiting the consumer website were younger and had more severe COPD; they
also felt less well-informed about their COPD and its treatment and perceived their
COPD as less well controlled. Although seeking medical-information online is generally considered a characteristic of individuals with higher-self efficacy, the characteristics of
this group of patients with COPD would generally be associated with lower self-efficacy.
This study has identified a group of patients with COPD who have turned to the
internet for information on their disease. The group is predominantly women and the
majority of them have poorly controlled COPD. Credible medical websites have
important roles to play for healthcare providers and for consumers. Understanding which
characteristics of information consumers predict improvements in healthcare outcomes
may allow segmentation and customization of website content to better meet consumer
needs. 


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MEDICAL-INFORMATION CONSUMERS: COMPARING THE CHARACTERISTICS OF PATIENTS WITH COPD WHO RECENTLY VISITED THEIR PHYSICIANS AND PATIENTS WHO VISITED A MEDICAL-INFORMATION WEBSITE pp. 169-196