Provision of Internet-based rheumatology education (http://rheuma.bham.ac.uk).

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVES: The Internet is becoming an important way of delivering medical information, and if used appropriately may assist in improving patients' self-management of their disease. We have established an arthritis education website ('Arthritis Help') and investigated its use over the last 2 yr. METHODS: Computer-generated log-file analysis and on-line questionnaires were used to create user profiles of our website. RESULTS: An average of 288 people visited our site each day, predominantly from America and the UK (49% of users). The typical questionnaire respondent (n = 770) was an American female with arthritis, aged 30+ yr, accessing the Internet from home. Typically, respondents had previously obtained information from medical staff or in written form, but were now more likely to use the Internet. One hundred and sixty-seven out of 585 respondents found our site to be useful, prompting them to seek more information (29%), change their behaviour or engage in more effective discussions with their physician (15%). CONCLUSIONS: These data indicate that it is possible to use the Internet to deliver medical information to its target audience, and that this process can have some impact on the way disease is self-managed. This information may aid more focused website design to maximize the use and potential benefits of such a resource.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)645-51
Number of pages7
JournalRheumatology
Volume40
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2001

Keywords

  • rheumatology, rheumatoid arthritis, arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, osteoarthritis, education, World Wide Web, Internet