Surgical patients’ use of, and attitudes towards, the internet for e-patient activities in Germany and Oman

Ken Masters, Teresa Loda*, Rashid Al-Abri, Jonas Johannink, Anne Herrmann-Werner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Introduction: E-patient activities are known to impact upon the patient-doctor relationship and on surgical outcomes. In Oman, there is no published information about the e-patient. The aim of this study, conducted at two surgical sites, was to investigate surgical e-patients’ use of, and attitudes towards, the Internet, and the possible impact on the delivery of healthcare. Materials and methods: A convenience sample of 83 German and 93 Omani patients at the two surgical sites were given an in-house paper-based questionnaire, based on e-patient activities described in the literature. Descriptive statistics like means, standard deviations and frequencies were calculated. Results: There were many similarities in usage and attitudes. Omani patients showed much greater knowledge and usage of sites and apps, used the Internet more for health-related activities (26.9% vs. 12.0%), and had a greater proportion of their physician encounters through email (10.0% vs. 4.0%) and social media (15.2% vs. 1.8%). More Omani patients brought information from the Internet than German patients (13.5% vs. 6.0%). Patients from both countries were generally positive about bringing material from the Internet to the consultation. Discussion and conclusion: Both sites indicated typical e-patient activity and attitudes as described in the literature. Age and type of condition (chronic vs. acute) may explain the differences to some extent, but this was not consistent. Socio-cultural differences between the two countries may have a great influence on the usage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-293
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of Medicine and Surgery
Volume55
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2020

Keywords

  • Communication
  • e-patient
  • Surgeon-patient relationship

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

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