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Journal of Public Health Management & Practice:
doi: 10.1097/01.PHH.0000342946.33456.d9
Evaluating Impacts of Community Health Assessments

Access and Use of the Internet for Health Information Seeking: A Survey of Local Public Health Professionals in the Northwest

Turner, Anne M. MD, MPH, MLIS; Petrochilos, Deanna MS; Nelson, David E. MD, MPH; Allen, Eileen MLS; Liddy, Elizabeth D. PhD

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Abstract

We conducted an on-line survey of 164 local health departments' staff in five Northwestern states in 2006–2007 to assess Internet access and use by staff. Most (96%) respondents had full-time access to their own worksite computer. The most important selection criterion for selecting Web sites was credibility of the sponsoring organization (55%). Accuracy (46%), reputable source (30%), and currency of information (19%) were considered most critical for assessing information quality. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (80%) and state health department (60%) sites were used most commonly. These findings can be used to improve public health Web sites and support decision making in practice.

© 2009 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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