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Jordanian Patients' and Caregivers' Use of the Internet for Seeking Health Information

AKHU-ZAHEYA, LAILA M. PhD, RN; DICKERSON, SUZANNE S. DNS, RN

CIN: Computers, Informatics, Nursing: May-June 2009 - Volume 27 - Issue 3 - p 184-191
doi: 10.1097/NCN.0b013e31819f7cc0
Feature Article

The objective of this pilot study was to evaluate Internet use among Jordanian patients and caregivers. The study included a convenience sample of patients with different health problems and diseases and caregivers. A survey modified from a study by Dickerson et al was used. A total of 78 patients and caregivers participated (37 patients and 41 caregivers), and 56.4% of the respondents were Internet users. Among Internet users, the Internet accounted for only 4.6% of their sources of health information, while physicians accounted for 11.3% and 17.6% among users and nonusers, respectively. Twenty-five of the participants (32.0%) reported high dependence on the media to obtain health information. Among all participants, a surprising percentage (37.2%) did not seek health information from any sources. The results of the survey provide insight into the need to study information-seeking behavior in general before studying specific technology to seek health information.

Author Affiliations: Faculty of Nursing (Dr Akhu-Zaheya), Jordan University of Science and Technology; and School of Nursing (Ms Dickerson), University at Buffalo, State University of New York.

This article is a pilot study conducted to assess Internet use for health information among Jordanian patients and caregivers, because Jordan recently has experienced a widespread use of the Internet, as a preliminary study for future research. The study was presented at the 14th International Conference on Cancer Nursing (September 27-October 1, 2006), Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Corresponding author: Laila M. Akhu-Zaheya, PhD, RN, Habis Al-Sarayra St, Tariq, AboAlia, PO Box 11946, Amman, Jordan 460304 (lma22@buffalo.edu).

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.