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J Health Commun. 2007 Jan-Feb;12(1):17-28.

Exploration of the construct of reliance among patients who talk with their providers about internet information.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York 10022, USA.


Three hundred fifty participants, recruited from Internet health message boards, completed online surveys about their experiences talking with health care providers about Internet health information. Two distinct dimensions of reliance emerged from the data, one regarding the patient's reliance on the health care provider for decision making and the other regarding the patient's reliance on the health care provider to stay healthy. Self-reliant patients tended to be female, have lower incomes, and report less frequent visits to the health care provider than did health-care-provider-reliant patients. Age, comfort level, and frequency of talking about Internet health information were not related to reliance level.

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