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Identifying the needs and preferences of users using search engine for health and medical information
Background :
World widely Internet is increasingly used to find health information. Online health surfing can be very beneficial for the novice users (non medical professionals), but due to overwhelming quantity and uneven quality of online health information it might be also dangerous and health threatening. Although medical professionals are qualified to evaluate the information quality, they can also be overwhelmed with its quantity and annoyed with associated time consumption. Some studies [1] proved that health search starts most commonly from use of search engine as Google, Yahoo, etc. However, the trustworthiness of the search results is questionable. At the same time it was also proved that search engine specially designed for health and medical information retrieval provides more reliable results [2]. Developing new search engine focused on biomedical information it is necessary to understand what is valued and desired by lay users and MDs looking for online health information as well as identify the usability barriers. The study is conducted in collaboration with GAW (Society of Physicians in Vienna) and is a part of EU project KHRESMOI which aims to develop a multi-lingual multi-modal search and access system for biomedical information and documents addressing the needs of lay population, medical doctors and specifically radiologists.

Purpose :
The study focuses on understanding the preferences and needs of general public and MDs regarding the use of search engine for health and medical purposes.

Methods :
  1. Conducting the interviews to elaborate the questionnaire using the grounded theory approach.
  2. Validation of the questionnaire for the survey
  3. Conducting the internet based survey
  4. Analyzing the results of the survey

Eligibility :

Contact and location
Tel : +41 22 372 62 50 - Fax : +41 22 372 88 85
Health On the Net Foundation
81 Boulevard de la Cluse
1205 Geneva - Switzerland

References :
1. Schembri G,Schober P The Internet as a diagnostic aid: the patients' perspective Int J STD AIDS 2009;20:231-233
2. Anders ME, Evans DP. Comparison of PubMed and Google Scholar literature searches. Respir Care. 2010 May;55(5):578-83.

KHRESMOI project 2010-2014

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