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The Internet is used increasingly for health information and patient support. Online health information users gravitate to websites that feature patient experiences. However, experiential accounts may mislead if they are unrepresentative. The quality of experiential websites remains unexplored. Obtaining user feedback online can be problematic. This study explored views of www.dipex.org/arthritis, a website based on, and featuring, clips from interviews about experiences of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Thirty-seven rheumatology outpatients viewed the site and completed a questionnaire. Overall the website appeared relevant and understandable and could be recommended. Comments highlighted the need to update the site regularly with experiences of new treatments; to ensure positive and negative experiences are balanced; and to ensure information is easy to find. The site has since been updated with new experiences and rewritten summaries that present a better balance of experiences. Changes were incorporated in an entire site redesign launched in autumn 2008 as www.healthtalkonline.org.

Original publication

DOI

10.1177/1460458209102974

Type

Journal article

Journal

Health informatics journal

Publication Date

06/2009

Volume

15

Pages

147 - 159

Addresses

Physiotherapy Research Unit, Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre NHS Trust Windmill Rd, Headington Oxford OX3 7LD, UK. Meredith.newman@noc.nhs.uk

Keywords

Humans, Arthritis, Rheumatoid, Focus Groups, Questionnaires, Pilot Projects, Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice, Qualitative Research, Multimedia, Quality Control, Internet, Adult, Aged, Middle Aged, Patient Satisfaction, Female, Male, Patient Education as Topic