Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 71105
Classification of Health Information Needs of Hypertensive Patients in the Online Health Community Based on Content Analysis

Authors: Aijing Luo, Zirui Xin, Yifeng Yuan

Abstract:

Background: With the rapid development of the online health community, more and more patients or families are seeking health information on the Internet. Objective: This study aimed to discuss how to fully reveal the health information needs expressed by hypertensive patients in their questions in the online environment. Methods: This study randomly selected 1,000 text records from the question data of hypertensive patients from 2008 to 2018 collected from the website www.haodf.com and constructed a classification system through literature research and content analysis. This paper identified the background characteristics and questioning the intention of each hypertensive patient based on the patient’s question and used co-occurrence network analysis to explore the features of the health information needs of hypertensive patients. Results: The classification system for health information needs of patients with hypertension is composed of 9 parts: 355 kinds of drugs, 395 kinds of symptoms and signs, 545 kinds of tests and examinations , 526 kinds of demographic data, 80 kinds of diseases, 37 kinds of risk factors, 43 kinds of emotions, 6 kinds of lifestyles, 49 kinds of questions. The characteristics of the explored online health information needs of the hypertensive patients include: i)more than 49% of patients describe the features such as drugs, symptoms and signs, tests and examinations, demographic data, diseases, etc. ii) these groups are most concerned about treatment (77.8%), followed by diagnosis (32.3%); iii) 65.8% of hypertensive patients will ask doctors online several questions at the same time. 28.3% of the patients are very concerned about how to adjust the medication, and they will ask other treatment-related questions at the same time, including drug side effects, whether to take drugs, how to treat a disease, etc.; secondly, 17.6% of the patients will consult the doctors online about the causes of the clinical findings, including the relationship between the clinical findings and a disease, the treatment of a disease, medication, and examinations. Conclusion: In the online environment, the health information needs expressed by Chinese hypertensive patients to doctors are personalized; that is, patients with different background features express their questioning intentions to doctors. The classification system constructed in this study can guide health information service providers in the construction of online health resources, to help solve the problem of information asymmetry in communication between doctors and patients.

Keywords: online health community, health information needs, hypertensive patients, doctor-patient communication

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