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Unanswered questions about e-patients

Susannah Fox has posted two sets of questions about e-patients, sent by Liav Hertsman and his colleagues at Tel Aviv University, that call for further research.

First set:
1. How would you describe the typical online active e-patient in terms of demographics?
2. In which stages of the diseases do e-patients usually need medical information the most? Why?
3. In which stages do they search for information about drugs?
4. How substantial is the e-patients’ drug search in comparison with their overall search about health?
5. How dominant and reliable is user-generated content (UGC) information in the eyes of e-patients?
6. Do e-patients who are interested in UGC also tend to cross-check the information, using professional sites or do they tend to rely solely on the UGC? Why?
7. What do the e-patients value more, specific information or general information? Is it treatment stage related?
8. In your opinion, should a health site offer diverse information or focus only on one area of expertise? Why?
9. What tools are important to have on a health site (i.e. communities, experts’ reviews, doctors’ ratings, drugs’ ratings, etc.)? Should a health site offer several tools? Why?
10. Do e-patients prefer a one-stop-shop site, where they can find every information related to health and every tool they need, or do they prefer to gather information from several sites, each with a specific specialization?
11. What causes an e-patient to return to a specific health site?

Second, followup set of questions:
1. Are there any specific studies related to online behavioral health resources that you might recommend?
2. Are there any specific studies directly related to the use of online health assessments?
3. Are there any specific studies that might support or refute the merits of utilizing online health resources for mental/behavioral health issues?

Note very useful comments below the post.

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