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Online health information seeking: How people with multiple sclerosis find, assess and integrate treatment information to manage their health

Synnot,AJ, Hill,SJ, Garner,KA, Summers,MP, Filippini,G, Osborne,RH, Shapland,SD, Colombo,C and Mosconi,P 2016, Online health information seeking: How people with multiple sclerosis find, assess and integrate treatment information to manage their health, Health Expectations, vol. 19, no. 3, pp. 727-737, doi: 10.1111/hex.12253.

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Title Online health information seeking: How people with multiple sclerosis find, assess and integrate treatment information to manage their health
Author(s) Synnot,AJ
Hill,SJ
Garner,KA
Summers,MP
Filippini,G
Osborne,RH
Shapland,SD
Colombo,C
Mosconi,P
Journal name Health Expectations
Volume number 19
Issue number 3
Start page 727
End page 737
Total pages 11
Publisher Wiley
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2016-06
ISSN 1369-6513
1369-7625
Keyword(s) Health information
Internet
Multiple sclerosis
Qualitative research
Summary Background and objective: The Internet is increasingly prominent as a source of health information for people with multiple sclerosis (MS). But there has been little exploration of the needs, experiences and preferences of people with MS for integrating treatment information into decision making, in the context of searching on the Internet. This was the aim of our study. Design: Sixty participants (51 people with MS; nine family members) took part in a focus group or online forum. They were asked to describe how they find and assess reliable treatment information (particularly online) and how this changes over time. Thematic analysis was underpinned by a coding frame. Results: Participants described that there was both too much information online and too little that applied to them. They spoke of wariness and scepticism but also empowerment. The availability of up-to-date and unbiased treatment information, including practical and lifestyle-related information, was important to many. Many participants were keen to engage in a 'research partnership' with health professionals and developed a range of strategies to enhance the trustworthiness of online information. We use the term 'self-regulation' to capture the variations in information seeking behaviour that participants described over time, as they responded to their changing information needs, their emotional state and growing expertise about MS. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Language eng
DOI 10.1111/hex.12253
Field of Research 119999 Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified
Socio Economic Objective 929999 Health not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2016, Wiley
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30067594

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Health and Social Development
Population Health
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