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August, 2014
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Infodemiology and infoveillance tracking online health information and cyberbehavior for public health

Eysenbach G. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 40(5 Suppl 2)

Infodemiology, an emerging area of research at the crossroads of consumer health informatics and public health informatics, as well as infometrics and web analytics tools, can be defined as the science of distribution and determinants of information in an electronic medium, specifically the Internet, with the ultimate aim to inform public health and public policy. Infodemiology data (derived from unstructured, textual, openly accessible information produced and consumed by the public on the Internet, such as blogs, websites, and query and navigation data) can be collected and analyzed in near real-time.
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22 June 2011 | No Comments »
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Internet Skills Performance Tests: Are People Ready for eHealth?

van Deursen AJAM, van Dijk JAGM. J Med Internet Res, 13(2)

BACKGROUND
Despite the amount of online health information, there are several barriers that limit the Internet’s adoption as a source of health information. One of these barriers is highlighted in conceptualizations of the digital divide which include the differential possession of Internet skills, or “eHealth literacy”. Most measures of Internet skills among populations at large use self-assessments. The research discussed here applies a multifaceted definition of Internet skills and uses actual performance tests.

OBJECTIVE
The purpose of this study was to assess how ready a sample of the general population is for eHealth. More specifically, four types of Internet skills were measured in a performance test in which subjects had to complete health-related assignments on the Internet.
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11 May 2011 | No Comments »
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Readability of Patient-oriented Online Dermatology Resources

Tulbert BH et al, The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, 4(3)

Background:
Supplemental educational reading material is of no value to patients if it is not read and comprehended. Objective: Using standardized research tools, online patient education materials were comparatively assessed for readability and length in words to identify the strengths and weaknesses of widely utilized sources.
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12 April 2011 | No Comments »
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Trust in the internet as a health resource among older adults: analysis of data from a nationally representative survey

Zulman DM et al, J Med Internet Res, 13(1)

Background:
Distrust in the Internet as a source of health information remains common among older adults. The influence of this distrust on Internet use for health-related purposes, however, is unclear.

Objective:
The objective of our study was to explore how older adults’ trust in the Internet influences their online health-related activities, and to identify potential targets for improving health-related Internet resources for older adults.
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14 March 2011 | No Comments »
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Readability of online health information: implications for health literacy

Mcinnes N, Haglund BJA. Informatics for Health and Social Care, 2011

Accessibility is one of six quality criteria articulated by the European Commission in its code of conduct for health websites. Readability plays an integral part in determining a website’s accessibility. Health information that is hard to read may remain inaccessible to people with low health literacy. This study aimed to calculate the readability of websites on various causes of disease. The names of 22 health conditions were entered into five search engines, and the readability of the first 10 results for each search were evaluated using Gunning FOG, SMOG, Flesch-Kincaid and Flesch Reading Ease tests (n  = 352). Readability was stratified and assessed by search term, search term complexity, top-level domain and paragraph position.
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21 February 2011 | No Comments »
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Potential for Electronic Health Records and Online Social Networking to Redefine Medical Research

Pearson JF et al, Clinical Chemistry, 2010

BACKGROUND:
Recent legislation in the US requires that all medical records become electronic over the next decade. In addition, ongoing developments in patient-oriented care, most notably with the advent of health social networking and personal health records, provide a plethora of new information sources for research.
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20 December 2010 | No Comments »
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Online Social Networking by Patients with Diabetes: A Qualitative Evaluation of Communication with Facebook

Greene JA et al, Journal of General Internal Medicine, 26(3)

BACKGROUND:
Several disease-specific information exchanges now exist on Facebook and other online social networking sites. These new sources of knowledge, support, and engagement have become important for patients living with chronic disease, yet the quality and content of the information provided in these digital arenas are poorly understood.
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7 December 2010 | No Comments »
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The spread of behavior in an online social network experiment

Centola D. Science, 329(5996)

How do social networks affect the spread of behavior? A popular hypothesis states that networks with many clustered ties and a high degree of separation will be less effective for behavioral diffusion than networks in which locally redundant ties are rewired to provide shortcuts across the social space. A competing hypothesis argues that when behaviors require social reinforcement, a network with more clustering may be more advantageous, even if the network as a whole has a larger diameter.
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5 September 2010 | No Comments »
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Enhancing Primary Care Through Online Communication

Dixon RF. Health Affairs, 29(7)

The effective delivery of primary care requires more frequent information exchange and communication than the typical office visit allows. Although industry leaders endorse health information technology (IT) to improve health outcomes and reduce costs, there has been less attention devoted to the use of this technology to deliver care.
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7 July 2010 | No Comments »
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Metaboli-Net: Online Groupware System Providing Counseling Guidance for Patients with Metabolic Syndrome

Kuwata S et al, Medical and Care Compunetics 6, 2010

This study presented a newly developed online groupware system, Metaboli-Net, to yield counseling guidance on diet and exercise to patients with metabolic syndrome. A distinctive feature adopted in the system to maintain the retention rate of patients was the social network service (SNS) that enables the patients to share their dietary and relevant health information with other participants in the same group on the network.
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20 June 2010 | No Comments »
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Changing attitudes towards online electronic health records and online patient documentation in rheumatology outpatients

Richter JG et al, Clinical and Experimental Rheumatology, 28(2)

OBJECTIVES:
The Internet supports interactive patient assessments, online documentation and access to online electronic health records (EHRs), but little is known about the acceptance of these features and trends in rheumatology patients. Therefore, we studied patients’ attitudes and willingness to participate in online patient (self-)documentation.
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22 May 2010 | No Comments »
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Patient-targeted googling: the ethics of searching online for patient information

Clinton, Brian K. et al, Harvard Review of Psychiatry, 18(2)

With the growth of the Internet, psychiatrists can now search online for a wide range of information about patients. Psychiatrists face challenges of maintaining professional boundaries with patients in many circumstances, but little consideration has been given to the practice of searching online for information about patients, an act we refer to as patient-targeted Googling (PTG). Psychiatrists are not the only health care providers who can investigate their patients online, but they may be especially likely to engage in PTG because of the unique relationships involved in their clinical practice. Before searching online for a patient, psychiatrists should consider such factors as the intention of searching, the anticipated effect of gaining information online, and its potential value or risk for the treatment.
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21 March 2010 | No Comments »
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Online medical consulting service at the University Hospital Zürich before and after introduction of a service fee

Brockes, M. C. et al, Deutsche Medizinische Wochenschrift, 135(6)

Objective:
The University Hospital of Zürich has been providing an anonymous online consultation service since 1999. In January 2008 a service fee of CHF 20.- was introduced. The present investigation evaluated the impact of the service fee on the use of the medical online consulting service.
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12 February 2010 | No Comments »
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Individuals with eating disorders and the use of online support groups as a form of social support

McCormack, Abby, Computers, Informatics, Nursing, 28(1)

The increase in Internet use in recent years has fostered the development of online support groups to help individuals cope with a number of conditions. Individuals with eating disorders may particularly benefit from such groups as they provide a means of sharing experiences, knowledge, and support with like-minded individuals without the anxiety and worry of others negatively evaluating their appearance. The aim of this study was to examine the nature and types of social support that took place on an anorexia discussion forum.
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6 December 2009 | No Comments »
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Improve Office Efficiency by Putting Your Patients to Work: Workflow Implications of an Online Self-service Appointment Scheduling System in Family Practice – Part 1 of 3

Ludwick, Dave A., and John Doucette, ElectronicHealthcare, 8(2)

Many industries are decreasing overhead costs and providing more convenience by involving customers in service delivery. This case study is part one of a three-part study examining the impact of an online appointment scheduling system on a physician office’s scheduling. The purpose of the case study was to understand the impact of an online self-booking system on primary care physician office workflow. Conventional telephone and online appointment scheduling workflows were reviewed using process engineering techniques. Online appointment scheduling substantially reduced the receptionist’s role in the scheduling function, which freed receptionist resources for other tasks.
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9 November 2009 | No Comments »
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Opportunities and challenges of Web 2.0 within the health care systems: An empirical exploration

Lupiáñez-Villanueva, Francisco et al, Informatics for Health and Social Care, 34(3)

The Internet has become one of the main drivers of e-health. Whilst its impact and potential is being analysed, the Web 2.0 phenomenon has reached the health field and has emerged as a buzzword that people use to describe a wide range of online activities and applications. The aims of this article are: to explore the opportunities and challenges of the Web 2.0 within the health care system and to identify the gap between the potential of these online activities and applications and the empirical data.
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10 August 2009 | No Comments »
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What Is My Cancer Risk? How Internet-Based Cancer Risk Assessment Tools Communicate Individualized Risk Estimates to the Public: Content Analysis

Waters, Erika A. et al, J Med Internet Res, 11(3)

Background:
Internet-based cancer risk assessment tools have the potential to inform the public about cancer risk and promote risk-reducing behaviors. However, poorly communicated information on these websites may result in unintended adverse health outcomes.
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2 August 2009 | No Comments »
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