An evaluation of healthcare information on the Internet: the case of colorectal cancer prevention.

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International journal of environmental research and public health, ISSN: 1660-4601, Vol: 11, Issue: 1, Page: 1058-75

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Chen, Chia-Ching; Yamada, Tetsuji; Smith, John
Medicine; Environmental Science
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Health information, provided through the Internet, has recently received attention from consumers and healthcare providers as an efficient method of motivating people to get screened for colorectal cancer (CRC). In this study, the primary purpose was to investigate the extent to which consumers were better educated about CRC screening information because of the information available on the Internet. Another purpose was to identify how better-informed consumers, with reliable and trustworthy health information, were enabled to make sound decisions regarding CRC screening. The data used in this study was taken from the 2003 Health Information National Trends Survey. People aged 55 and older were classified based on their compliance with recommended CRC screening. The study applied the PRECEDE-PROCEED model to evaluate the effects of health information taken from the Internet regarding CRC screening. The credibility and reliance of cancer related information on the Internet was significantly associated with patient compliance to be screened for CRC. Experience and knowledge of Internet use had a significant impact on the utilization of CRC screening. This analysis suggests that the design and publishing websites concerning CRC should emphasize credibility and reliance. Websites providing information about CRC must also contain the most current information so that people are able to make educated decisions about CRC screening.