Patients using the Internet

This survey is being conducted by Professor Jeremy Wyatt to explore UK doctor’s experiences of patients using the Internet. It is hoped that this study will be presented in a special issue of the BMJ. Responding counts toward the Medix awards programme.

Your GMC and Medix password ensure that only you can respond and that you do so only once.
GMC Number
Medix Password

1. About how many patients do you see in a month?
Do not see patients

2. Estimate the percentage of your patients accessing health material on the Internet during the last month

3. How many patient health internet sites have you looked at in the last month?

4. What do you think of the general quality of health information on the Internet?
Usually reliable
Sometimes reliable
Sometimes unreliable
Usually unreliable
Don't know

5. Where would you recommend a patient with diabetes looks on the Internet for information about their condition?

6. What do you think about the quality of financial advice on the Internet?
Usually reliable
Sometimes reliable
Sometimes unreliable
Usually unreliable
Don't know

7. What statement best describes your feelings about giving patients information leaflets, such as those from Cancer BACUP as part of clinical practice:
Very useful
Sometimes useful
Sometimes harmful
Often harmful
Not sure

8. Have any of your patients experienced health benefits as a result of accessing material on the Internet?
Not sure

9. What kind of benefits did your patients experience? [tick all that apply]
Ordering useful drugs or other health products
Getting helpful second opinions from (purported) practitioners
Getting helpful risk estimates
Getting helpful advice from patient support sites
Seeking appropriate medical help sooner
Becoming better informed about their condition
Gaining social support for their condition

10a. Have any of your patients ever experienced physical benefit from taking or doing something they read about on the Internet?
Not sure
Slight benefit
Mild benefit
Dramatic benefit

10b. If benefit, what appeared to be the cause?

11. In general, what have been the benefits for you and the health service of your patients using the Internet? [tick all that apply]
Patients are more able to cope with their symptoms or disease
Shorter consultations
Patients are more confident about self-care
Patients not seeking medical help when it was not needed
Patients are coming in sooner for necessary investigation or treatment
Fewer unnecessary investigations
Fewer unnecessary treatments

12. Overall, how would you describe your patients’ experiences with Internet health material?

13. Do you, your firm or your practice have an Internet site with health information or links for your patients?
No, but planning to
No, but would like one

14. Comments about the subject or the questionnaire

Many thanks for responding.

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