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Psychiatr Serv. 2009 Sep;60(9):1265-8. doi: 10.1176/ps.2009.60.9.1265.

Use of the internet and other media for health information among clinic outpatients with serious mental illness.

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Department of Health, Behavior, and Society, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, 624 N. Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.



This study examined how people with serious mental illness access and use media to receive health information.


One hundred people with serious mental illness were interviewed regarding their media use, with a focus on how they get their health information.


Among these participants, 91% had a television (M+/-SD=5.7+/-4.6 hours per day), and 74% indicated it was a primary health information source. One third of the sample had used the Internet. Of these participants, about half (53%) had gone online for health information. Younger participants and those with more education were significantly more likely to use the Internet. Among Internet nonusers, there was still interest in finding health information online; however, expense, lack of computer skills or knowledge, and difficulties with typing and reading prevented doing so.


Although this sample used television more often than the Internet as a resource, there appears to be interest among persons with serious mental illness in using the Internet as a source of health information and support.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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