Internet Use by Patients with Psychiatric Disorders in Search for General and Medical Informations

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Abstract

Background Internet is commonly used by the general population, notably for health information-seeking. There has been little research into its use by patients treated for a psychiatric disorder. Aim To evaluate the use of internet by patients with psychiatric disorders in searching for general and medical information. Methods In 2007, 319 patients followed in a university hospital psychiatric out-patient clinic, completed a 28-items self-administered questionnaire. Results Two hundred patients surveyed were internet users. Most of them (68.5%) used internet in order to find health-related information. Only a small part of the patients knew and used criteria reflecting the quality of contents of the websites consulted. Knowledge of English and private Internet access were the factors significantly associated with the search of information on health on Internet. Conclusions Internet is currently used by patients treated for psychiatric disorders, especially for medical seeking information.

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