Patients' perceptions of Internet usage and their opportunity to obtain health information

Maritta Anneli Vaelimaeki, Heljä Nenonen, Marita Koivunen, Riitta Suhonen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

26 Citations (Scopus)


The World Wide Web is increasingly an essential resource to obtain information for health promotion. Coherent information is still missing as to whether patients' opportunities to use the Internet and to access health information have changed at the same time. This study examines and compares, between two different time periods, patients' perceptions of Internet use, to obtain health information and associated factors. A two-stage survey design with a non-equivalent group was used. The data were collected with questionnaires from hospital patients during their discharge process and analysed using descriptive statistics. The vast majority of the patients had Internet access either at home or work. The proportion of Internet usage increased during the study period. Patients agree on the importance of using technology for health-information delivery, but they still prefer to receive information from health-care staff by face-to-face contacts. Well-educated and young respondents reported more frequent access to the Internet.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-314
Number of pages10
JournalInformatics for Health and Social Care
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Health information
  • information seeking
  • information technology
  • Internet
  • patient

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Informatics
  • Nursing (miscellaneous)
  • Health Information Management


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