Send to

Choose Destination
J Telemed Telecare. 2006;12(4):186-8.

Searching the Internet for medical information: frequency over time and by age and gender in an outpatient population in the UK.

Author information

Walton Centre for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Liverpool, UK.


The frequency of home Internet access and use to search for medical information was measured by questioning consecutive new patients referred to the neurology outpatient department for three-month periods in five consecutive years (2001-05). In a cohort of over 1000 patients, 40% reported home access to the Internet, and 11% had undertaken searches for medical information prior to clinic attendance. The frequency of Internet searches was consistent over time and by patient gender, but varied by patient age, being higher in the younger age groups. Of the 114 patients undertaking Internet searches, 45 (39%) were judged to have accessed information or reached conclusions inappropriate to the final neurological diagnosis. However, no patient was judged to have come to physical harm as a result of accessing information inappropriate to the final neurological diagnosis. Data on health-information-seeking behaviour through Internet searching are relevant not only to clinical consultation, but also to the possibilities of targeting health-related information and to email consultation.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Atypon
Loading ...
Support Center