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Type: Journal article
Title: Medicines and the Internet: a qualitative study of the views and experiences of online medicine information seekers
Author: Bessell, T.
Anderson, J.
Hiller, J.
Sansom, L.
Citation: Australian Pharmacist, 2002; 21(5):361-365
Publisher: Pharmaceutical Society of Australia
Issue Date: 2002
ISSN: 0728-4632
Statement of
TL Bessell, JA Whitty, TM McGuire, JN Anderson, JE Hiller and LN Sansom
Abstract: Objectives: To explore the views of Australian online medicine information seekers about medicines and the Internet, particularly the identification of what prompted consumers to look for online information about medicines, the search methods used and the nature, assessment and application of such information in the context of their own healthcare management. Design: Qualitative study using semi- structured telephone interviews. Setting: Queensland, June to August 2001. Subjects: Nine self reported online health seekers who sought information from Queensland Medication telephone Helpline. Results: participants sought medicines information via the Internet to resolve conflicting advice, find alternative treatments and supplement the advice they had been given about the benefits and risks of recommended medications. They sought a wide range of information and used simple search strategies. Participants displayed some awareness about the limitations of online health information but were unsure about how to differentiate between good and poor quality websites. Despite this, participants used such information to make decisions about their medication use that sometimes conflicted with the advice provided by doctors. They used online health information as a second opinion rather than seeking an initial diagnosis or treatment recommendation. Overall participants' views and experiences of online medicines information were positive and they felt more confident about using their medicines. Conclusions: Currently pharmacists are well placed to be online information brokers but they require both information technology and critical appraisal skills to be effective in the information age.
Description: © Pharmaceutical Society of Australia
RMID: 0020021616
Appears in Collections:Public Health publications

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