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Br J Psychiatry. 2006 Sep;189:273-7.

Internet information-seeking in mental health: population survey.

Author information

  • 1Health Sciences Research Institute, Medical School Building, Gibbet Hill Campus, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK. john.powell@warwick.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

A major use of the of the internet is for health information-seeking. There has been little research into its use in relation to mental health.

AIMS:

To investigate the prevalence of internet use for mental health information-seeking and its relative importance as a mental health information source.

METHOD:

General population survey. Questions covered internet use, past psychiatric history and the 12-item General Health Questionnaire.

RESULTS:

Eighteen per cent of all internet users had used the internet for information related to mental health. The prevalence was higher among those with a past history of mental health problems and those with current psychological distress. Only 12% of respondents selected the internet as one of the three most accurate sources of information, compared with 24% who responded that it was one of the three sources they would use.

CONCLUSIONS:

The internet has a significant role in mental health information-seeking. The internet is used more than it is trusted.

PMID:
16946364
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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