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 problems as a result of accessing material on the Internet?
Not sure

9. What kind of problems did your patients experience? [tick all that apply]
· Ordering dangerous or ineffective drugs or other health products
Getting misleading second opinions from (purported) practitioners
Getting misleading risk estimates
Getting misleading advice from patient support sites
Seeking appropriate medical help later
Becoming misinformed about their condition
Spending a pathological amount of time on the Internet - "Internet addiction"

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

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

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