Majority of families in urban areas have access to Internet, show willingness to receive health info electronically

In a study of mostly minority and socioeconomically disadvantaged families, 99 percent of participants reported having access to the Internet. More than half of the families were interested in receiving health information electronically, an important finding in the quest to improve access to health information. The study, conducted in the Emergency Department at Children's National Medical Center, is published in the June issue of Pediatric Emergency Care.

Of the 509 families in the study, 503 reported access to the Internet, either at home, work, or via their mobile device. More than half expressed an interest in receiving information from the emergency department, with email being the preferred method of delivery. This represents a novel opportunity to engage a larger proportion of urban families in efforts to help improve their health through better education.

"This study demonstrates the high prevalence of Internet access in socioeconomically disadvantaged areas, a change from previous studies," said Mohsen Saidinejad, MD, the study author and an emergency medicine physician at Children's National. "It's an important first step as we try to improve health education and . Our ultimate goal is to improve compliance and ."

In the study, nearly one quarter of participants reported accessing the Internet through a mobile device. The researchers anticipate that Internet access on mobile devices will continue to increase as more people own smart phones.

Dr. Saidinejad and his colleagues at Children's National are currently conducting further research to evaluate patient engagement by measuring the open rates of emails sent to caretakers from the emergency department, as well as the length of time spent on websites containing relevant health information.

Related Stories

Racial differences found in care of children in ED

date Apr 29, 2012

Black children are less likely than white children to receive medication for abdominal pain in the emergency department (ED) even when they report severe pain, according to a study presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies ...

Recommended for you

Soldiers cite 'Medic!' as a top hearing priority

date 6 hours ago

'Medic!', 'Hold fire!' and grid references are amongst the highest priorities for soldiers to be able to hear while on duty, according to new research from the University of Southampton.

New measures identified for newborn care in Uganda

date 7 hours ago

In Uganda, child mortality rates are improving, but progress is slower for deaths occurring in the first four weeks of life, or the newborn period, and for stillbirths. But recent evidence from local researchers ...

Should men cut back on their soy intake?

date 9 hours ago

Recently, a friend called my husband to inquire about the risks for men in consuming too much soy milk. He had read an article that described how one individual's plight led him down the path of breast enlargement, and was ...

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.