Survey of Internet Use as a Source of Health-Related Information in Qassim Province, Saudi Arabia
Tropical Journal of Pharmaceutical Research
Purpose: To estimate the proportion of patients in Qassim Province, Saudi Arabia, who use the Internet to search for health-related information, determine barriers to Internet use, and investigate the relationship between Internet use and socio-demographic variables. Methods: A total of 377 questionnaires were distributed to five main hospitals in Qassim Province (Saudi Arabia). The patients were randomly selected to complete the survey when they arrived to fill their pharmacy prescription. The
... survey was explained to the patients, and they were given the option to participate or decline. Results: Fifteen percent of the respondents used the Internet as a source of health-related information, especially disease-specific information (97.7 %). Thirty percent used the Internet after a recommendation from their health-care provider. The highest proportions of respondents indicated that lack of training and the cost of Internet access were major barriers to Internet use. There was a significant association between Internet use and education level (p = 0.002). Conclusion: Compared with published data for Qassim City, Saudi Arabia, Internet use to obtain health-related information is relatively low in the Qassim Province, Saudi Arabia. Lack of training is the most common barrier.