The Westdoc Internet Questionnaire--a survey of the use of "on-line" resources by West Lothian general practitioners.

T. Thompson*, F. Sullivan, K. Penny

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the extent to which a representative sample of Scottish GPs used on-line resources for medical applications and their attitudes to various aspects of the technology at a time just prior to the introduction of the Scottish Office Computers offering Internet access to the majority of Scottish practices. DESIGN: Questionnaire survey. SETTING: "Out of hours" GP emergency service cooperative. SUBJECTS: All the (106) GP principals in practice in the Scottish District of West Lothian in June 1997. Locums and Registrars were excluded. RESULTS: There was an 87% response rate. Nineteen (21%) respondents used the Internet once a month or more, 12(13%) used it to communicate with colleagues by e-mail and 4(4%) with patients. Only 8% found it useful for medical purposes though more than half thought it would be a significant part of practice in five years time. Younger GPs were more likely to use the Internet. Many users expressed concern about reliability of the information and the ease with which it could be applied. CONCLUSION: By identifying a mismatch between levels of Internet use and the perceived potential of this new technology this study points to the need for training initiatives. It also forms a benchmark against which the uptake of Internet technology by GPs can be measured in years to come.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-417
Number of pages3
JournalHealth Bulletin
Volume57
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 1999

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