Dutch rheumatologists and oncologists' experiences and attitudes regarding the health-related Internet use of their patients

John Dufort

The demographics, experiences with patients' health-related Internet use, referral behavior, and attitudes toward the consequences of patients' health-related Internet use were all included in the questionnaire. The rate of responses was. Two of these respondents were oncologists and rheumatologists. Practically all doctors experienced their patients raising data from the Web during a conference. However, they were not regularly confronted with their patients' health-related Internet use. The effects of patients' health-related Internet use, the doctor-patient relationship, and health care were moderately well-received by doctors. Compared to rheumatologists, oncologists were significantly less optimistic regarding the effects of health-related Internet use. The majority of doctors had only occasionally referred patients to health-related websites. It is difficult for the majority of doctors to keep up with patient-safe websites on the Internet. Although they rarely direct patients to relevant websites, doctors have a moderately positive attitude toward their patients' health-related Internet use. Physicians may be able to refer more patients if they have access to an up-to-date website with patient-approved websites.