Going online for health advice: Changes in usage and trust practices over the last five years

Sillence, Elizabeth, Briggs, Pamela, Harris, Peter and Fishwick, Lesley (2007) Going online for health advice: Changes in usage and trust practices over the last five years. Interacting with Computers, 19 (3). pp. 397-406. ISSN 09535438

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.intcom.2006.10.002


In recent years the number of health related websites has increased dramatically and so have concerns regarding the quality of online information. The sheer volume of sites and the variety of information available have left health consumers potentially with greater choice but it is not clear whether these online changes are reflected in user behaviour. This study addresses whether users are becoming more proficient in searching for credible, high quality information and whether they are more demanding of the type of information being sought and less ready to trust online health advice. This paper describes changes in the use of the Internet for health advice over a five-year period. It compares findings from two large-scale online questionnaire studies undertaken in 2000 and 2005. Key changes and similarities in usage and trust practices are noted. The rise in unregulated sites is discussed in terms of patients “acting as scientists” using websites to test out theories regarding their health. The increasing importance of design issues is also highlighted and implications for website designers and content providers are presented.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This work is supported by an ESRC E-Society Grant, RES-335-25-0019 - Bodies Online - Information and Advice Seeking in the Health and Fitness Domain.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Online advice, trust, credibility, questionnaire, internet, health
Subjects: B900 Others in Subjects allied to Medicine
G900 Others in Mathematical and Computing Sciences
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Psychology
Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
Depositing User: Becky Skoyles
Date Deposited: 01 Dec 2014 09:47
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2022 14:15
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/18334

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