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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 993-997

Internet use for patient care and health research: A cross-sectional study among physicians in a teaching hospital of Eastern India

Department of Community Medicine, Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital, Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan Deemed to be University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Lipilekha Patnaik
Department of Community Medicine, Institute of Medical Sciences and SUM Hospital, Siksha ‘O’ Anusandhan Deemed to be University, Bhubaneswar, Odisha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfmpc.jfmpc_262_17

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Background: Internet is the world's largest network of information and communication services. The internet is widely used in medicine and had a significant impact on research, training, and patient care. Objectives: (1) To assess internet use to obtain health information for patient care among physicians of a medical college hospital. (2) To investigate the utilization of the internet during their daily practice and to know the reasons for its use and nonuse. Materials and Methods: A hospital-based cross-sectional study was conducted for a period of 2 months of May and June 2015 in a Medical College Hospital of Eastern India. A convenient sample of 200 physicians was included in the study. Data regarding access of internet in workplace, time spent on the internet for medical and nonmedical purposes, opinions regarding use of the internet to update medical knowledge, obstacles that affect its use, etc., were collected. The data were analyzed using SPSS software version 20. Results: It was seen that 47% doctors use laptop for accessing internet, followed by mobiles (34%). E-mail was the main purpose (41%) of internet use, followed by research (32.5%). Majority told that e-mail was the main purpose of last internet use (46.5%), followed by browsing medical resources (23%), research (15.5%), and patient care (12.5%). 97.5% agreed that they had ever browsed internet for patient care and 85.5% doctors agreed that they had obtained relevant information. 26.5% told that they need training for accessing free full-text electronic journals and 25% need training to access the sources for best clinical evidence for patient care. Other training needs were literature search (18%), downloading textbooks and other resources (15.5%), and searching internet sites for medical information (10%). Conclusion: Providing training for improvement of searching skills for obtaining up-to-date medical information, and evidence-based medicine from internet will improve their practice of medicine.

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