Health-related searches have become one of the most common reasons for using the Internet. The Internet has played an increasingly important role for patients in making health care decisions and this supported by the growing evidence that patients often bring information retrieved from the Internet into medical consultations as an aid to decision making. Whilst many people appear to trust the information they find online there are concerns that this trust may be misplaced given that systematic reviews have concluded that quality is a problem on the Internet. In the face of such variable quality, how do health consumers decide whether or not to trust the information and advice they find online?
The Internet is also an increasingly popular mode to deliver health interventions, as it can; reduce costs, increase convenience for users, reach isolated or stigmatised groups and can provide an ‘any time’ service. In addition, given the direct and indirect costs of obesity, low cost, high impact interventions must be considered the most attractive to policy makers and stakeholders.
The PaCT Lab has a proven track record of investigating trust in online health information. A 3 year ESRC funded project rated outstanding examined how people engage with and trust online health information and advice. The team developed novel methodologies to explore issues associated with trust development and maintenance. The project demonstrated three key techniques:
- Internet café style labs: Health users are invited into the lab to view websites and take part in group discussions. We can record which sites they visit and how long they spend on each site.
- Large scale online questionnaire development: We have been successful attracting large numbers of online respondents.
- Eye tracking: We have used eye tracking equipment to record which features of websites draw attention from different health users.
The project led to a published set of guidelines for the design of good health websites and follow ups with a number of health care providers and pharmaceutical companies.
Starting in May 2016, Pactlab are involved with colleagues in Hong Kong examining the efficacy of using online narratives in changing HIV risk perceptions and behaviors among men who have sex with men in Hong Kong
As part of an ongoing project PactLab researchers have used survey methodology to take a snapshot of e-health users every five years since the year 2000 in order to assess changing patterns of use and engagement with online health information and advice. A large scale questionnaire has allowed us to note changes in website use … Continue reading “Going online for health: Noting changes over time”
This project is aimed at parents with low SES (socio-economic status). A mixed method approach has been used to develop a tailored online health intervention. Using psychological techniques in this case Self Affirmation theory, the project aims to increase the acceptance of a health message and lead to a change in behaviour. The overall goal … Continue reading “Increasing Acceptance of Online Health Information”
The value of patient choice, self care, and patient and public involvement has been increasingly noted in the health sector. These aims cannot be achieved unless people can access high quality health information. Traditionally, health information has been based on facts and figures of the illness, and very few of them contained information on patient’s … Continue reading “NIHR”
This research examined how and why people choose to trust online health advice and to act upon website recommendations. There is a focus on users with real health concerns e.g. HRT/menopause, High Blood Pressure and Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR). The research utilised a variety of data collection techniques including focus groups, interviews, data logging, diaries, … Continue reading “Trust, Risk and Identity Issues Online”
As part of an ongoing project PactLab researchers have used survey methodology to take a snapshot of e-health users every five years since the year 2000 in order to assess changing patterns of use and engagement with online health information and advice. A large scale questionnaire has allowed us to note changes in website use … Continue reading “Going Online for Health: Noting Changes Over Time”
Prof. Lynne Coventry and Dr Liz Sillence This EPSRC funded project seeks to identify and address fundamental Trust, Identity, Privacy and Security (TIPS) challenges faced by those managing stigmatised long term conditions including HIV in managing their health and interacting with care services, peer support networks, and private organisations. We will develop new tools providing … Continue reading “INTUIT: Interaction Design for Trusted Sharing of Personal Health Data to Live well with HIV”