BMC anesthesiology 2017 03 0817(1) 39 doi 10.1186/s12871-017-0319-1
Aim of this study was to identify factors associated with patients using the internet to find information about their upcoming surgery in general, and more specifically about anaesthesia.
With Ethics committee approval, 1000 consecutive patients seen before elective surgery in the anaesthesia preoperative clinic of a Swiss Level 2 hospital were asked to complete a questionnaire. Primary outcome were patients using the internet to gather any medical information related to their upcoming hospital stay, secondary outcome patients using the internet to gather information regarding the upcoming anaesthesia. Multiple regression was performed to identify independent factors associated with internet use.
Eighty-two percent of the patients (n = 815) participated. 97% of those were ASA physical status 1 or 2; 83% (n = 676) had experience with previous anaesthetics, 86% (n = 700) reported to use the internet in general. Overall, about one-third of the participants used the internet to learn more about their medical condition, 26% regarding their upcoming surgical procedure. Only 7% (n = 55) obtained information about the anaesthetic. In multivariate analyses, factors associated with internet use were generally doing so, and planned moderate compared to minor surgery; not using the internet was associated with previous anaesthetic experience. Of those who did not use the Internet to learn about their anaesthetic, 34% indicated that they would have visited a trusted website.
Only few patients used the internet to obtain information about their upcoming procedure and the anaesthetic part played an even smaller role. However, many patients would have appreciated guidance to find trustworthy internet sites.
German Clinical Trials Register ( DRKS00005434 ; date of registration: 27(th) December 2013); date of enrolment of first patient: 1st August 2013; study retrospectively registered.