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Title Internet use and perceptions of information reliability by parents in a neonatal intensive care unit.
Author(s) Amrit S Dhillon MRCP(UK), MSc, Susan G Albersheim MD, FRCPC, Sulaiman Alsaad MD, Nisha S Pargass MRCPUK and John A F Zupancic MD, ScD
Source J Perinatology, Vol. 23, No. 5, Pages 420-424
Publication Date July/August 2003
Abstract OBJECTIVES: To assess Internet use and perceptions of formation reliability by parents in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). STUDY DESIGN: A standardized questionnaire study. RESULTS: A total of 100 parents were approached and 90% participated. In all, 79% owned a computer, 85.5% had Internet access, and 75.5% regularly spent >1 to 2 hour/day on the computer. There was a significant reduction in the proportion of parents using the Internet after birth of their baby (before birth: nonmedical searches 84% and medical searches 47%; after birth: nonmedical searches 40% and medical searches 29%; p<0.0001 and <0.03, respectively). Internet access was more likely in those with higher level of education (p=0.006) and fluency in reading English (p=0.05). In all, 80% considered the NICU doctors as a reliable source of medical information compared with 10% in the case of the Internet. CONCLUSIONS: Although a considerable proportion of parents use the Internet for medical information, many still view the information obtained as unreliable.

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