Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Health information in the internet age
Author: McCaw, Brian Alexander
Awarding Body: Queen's University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2013
Availability of Full Text:
Full text unavailable from EThOS.
Please contact the current institution’s library for further details.
The research presented in this thesis investigated aspects of health information on the Internet. Firstly, an investigation of how the newspaper media influence public perception of the Internet as a health information source is described. Newspaper reporting in the period 2003-2012 was found to be infrequent, and was mainly limited to the "quality" press. Reporting on online health information peaked when public health was threatened, for example during the H 1 N1 influenza pandemic in 2009. Secondly, a survey of health information seeking by people with chronic illness and the outcomes of obtaining health information from the Internet is reported. Online health information seekers used most sources of health information to a greater extent" and had higher health status scores, than offline health information seekers. The majority of online health information seekers reported improved knowledge, although some were worried by the information they had obtained. Thirdly, a thematic analysis of the content of an on line discussion forum for adults with cystic fibrosis is presented. Generally, forum members initiated discussions in response to acute changes in their health and shared experiences rather than factual information. Health-related challenges that are faced by adults with cystic fibrosis, such as dealing with acute symptoms, medication use and coping with deteriorations in their health were identified. In addition, issues related to daily living aspects were reported. Fourthly, surveys undertaken in 2005 and 2012 investigated the impact of the Internet on the professional practice of general practitioners (GPs) and community pharmacists. By 2012, GPs had incorporated use of the Internet into their practice to a greater extent than pharmacists. For example, GPs recommended web sites to patients four times more frequently than community pharmacists. Finally, the implications of the overall findings of the programme of research, for health professionals and the public, and for future research, are discussed
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available