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T-Space at The University of Toronto Libraries >
Journal of Medical Internet Research >
Volume 4 (2002) >

Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/4636


Title: A Review of Features in Internet Consumer Health Decision-support Tools
Authors: Schwitzer, Gary
Keywords: Review
decision making
informatics
Internet
multimedia
social support
treatment outcome
prognosis
Issue Date: 22-Nov-2002
Publisher: Gunther Eysenbach; Centre for Global eHealth Innovation, Toronto, Canada
Citation: Gary Schwitzer. A Review of Features in Internet Consumer Health Decision-support Tools. J Med Internet Res 2002;4(2):e11 <URL: http://www.jmir.org/2002/2/e11/>
Abstract: [This item is a preserved copy and is not necessarily the most recent version. To view the current item, visit http://www.jmir.org/2002/2/e11/ ] Background: Over the past decade, health care consumers have begun to benefit from new Web-based communications tools to guide decision making on treatments and tests. Using today's online tools, consumers who have Internet connections can: watch and listen to videos of physicians; watch and hear the stories of other consumers who have faced the same decisions; join an online social support network; receive estimates of their own chances of experiencing various outcomes; and do it all at home. Objective: To review currently-available Internet consumer health decision-support tools. Methods: Five Web sites offering consumer health decision-support tools are analyzed for their use of 4 key Web-enabled features: the presentation of outcomes probability data tailored to the individual user; the use of videotaped patient interviews in the final product to convey the experiences of people who have faced similar diagnoses in the past; the ability to interact with others in a social support network; and the accessibility of the tool to any health care consumers with an Internet connection. Results: None of the 5 Web sites delivers all 4 target features to all Web users. The reasons for these variations in the use of key Web functionality — features that make the Web distinctive — are not immediately clear. Conclusions: Consumers trying to make health care decisions may benefit from current Web-based decision-support tools. But, variations in Web developers' use of 4 key Web-enabled features leaves the online decision-support experience less than what it could be. Key research questions are identified that could help in the development of new hybrid patient decision-support tools.
Description: Reviewer: Evans, R
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/4636
ISSN: 1438-8871
Other Identifiers: doi:10.2196/jmir.4.2.e11
Rights: Copyright (cc) Retained by author(s) under a Creative Commons License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/
Appears in Collections:Volume 4 (2002)

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