• 10May

    Study: Reducing Negative Outcomes of Online Consumer Health Information

    Reducing Negative Outcomes of Online Consumer Health Information: Qualitative Interpretive Study with Clinicians, Librarians, and Consumers

    The aim of this study, published in JMIR, was to describe negative outcomes associated with OCHI use in primary care and identify potential preventive strategies from consumers’, health practitioners’, and health librarians’ perspectives.

    There has been an exponential increase in the general population’s usage of the internet and of information accessibility; the current demand for online consumer health information (OCHI) is unprecedented. There are multiple studies on internet access and usage, quality of information, and information needs. However, few studies explored negative outcomes of OCHI in detail or from different perspectives, and none examined how these negative outcomes could be reduced.

    They found that negative outcomes of OCHI may occur at three levels: internal (such as increased worrying), interpersonal (such as a tension in the patient-clinician relationship), and service-related (such as postponing a clinical encounter). Participants also proposed three types of strategies to reduce the occurrence of these negative outcomes, namely, providing consumers with reliable OCHI, educating consumers on how to assess OCHI websites, and helping consumers present and discuss the OCHI they find with a health professional in their social network or a librarian for instance.

    They examined negative outcomes associated with using OCHI from five complementary perspectives (consumers, family physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and health librarians). They identified a construct of OCHI use–related tension that included and framed all negative outcomes. This construct has three dimensions (three interdependent levels): internal, interpersonal, and service-related tensions. Future research can focus on the implementation and effectiveness of the proposed strategies, which might contribute to reducing these tensions.
    El Sherif R, Pluye P, Thoër C, Rodriguez C
    Reducing Negative Outcomes of Online Consumer Health Information: Qualitative Interpretive Study with Clinicians, Librarians, and Consumers
    J Med Internet Res 2018;20(5):e169
    DOI: 10.2196/jmir.9326
    PMID: 29728350

    You can read the full article here: http://www.jmir.org/2018/5/e169/