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Type: Journal article
Title: Prevalence of South Australia's online health seekers
Author: Bessell, T.
Silagy, C.
Anderson, J.
Hiller, J.
Sansom, L.
Citation: Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 2002; 26(2):170-173
Publisher: Public Health Assoc Australia Inc
Issue Date: 2002
ISSN: 1326-0200
Statement of
Tracey L. Bessell, Christopher Silagy, Jeremy N. Anderson, Janet E. Hiller and Lloyd N. Sansom
Abstract: OBJECTIVE: To determine the proportion of South Australians accessing online health care information, predictive characteristics of online health seekers, nature of the information sought and consumer behaviour. METHODS: A probability-based survey of 3,027 South Australians, aged 15 years and older, as part of the Spring 2000 South Australian Health Omnibus. RESULTS: Internet access decreases with age, while the prevalence of online health seekers is constant (26% to 28%) among people aged between 15 and 54 years. Predictive characteristics of online health seekers include gender, age, education and income. Most commonly sought information is the cause or description of disease (60%). Consumers use online health information as a second opinion (19%), discuss it with their doctor or pharmacist (16%), or change their health care management (11%). CONCLUSIONS: The Australian prevalence of online health seekers is likely to be slightly higher than 21%. Implications: The Intemet can deliver preventative and clinical health information to a critical mass of Australians, but poorer and older Australians may be unable to access it.
Keywords: Humans
Socioeconomic Factors
Information Services
Middle Aged
Health Services Accessibility
Patient Acceptance of Health Care
South Australia
Description: © Public Health Association Australia
DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-842X.2002.tb00912.x
Published version:;dn=200207490;res=APAFT
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