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23.08.2017 | Original Article | Ausgabe 3/2017

HSS Journal ® 3/2017

Patient Perceptions and Current Trends in Internet Use by Orthopedic Outpatients

HSS Journal ® > Ausgabe 3/2017
MD M. Tyrrell Burrus, MD Brian C. Werner, MD James S. Starman, MD Gregory M. Kurkis, BS Jonathan M. Pierre, MD David R. Diduch, PhD Joseph M. Hart
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (doi:10.​1007/​s11420-017-9568-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.



Many studies have highlighted concerns about the completeness and quality of information found online and how this may affect patients’ education about their medical problems. One aspect of internet usage that has received less attention in the literature, however, is patient perception of the information that is gathered online, and how patients use it related to their musculoskeletal care.


The objective of the study is to utilize a cross-sectional study design to describe internet usage and patient perceptions of orthopedic online information and to identify differences in usage patterns.


One thousand two hundred ninety-six questionnaires were distributed to consecutive patients at orthopedic outpatient clinics which consisted of questions pertaining to patients’ internet use. Basic demographic data were collected, and subgroup analyses were performed to examine the effect of three variables (age, gender, and clinic type) on various outcomes.


84.9% of patients reported access to the internet. Of patients with internet access, 64.7% reported using the internet for obtaining orthopedic information. 43.1% of the respondents who searched for orthopedic information rated it as “very useful,” 56.3% found it “somewhat useful,” and 0.6% found it “not at all useful”. Younger patients were more likely to have used the internet for health and orthopedic information and to have found this information either very or somewhat useful. Males were more likely to have found the internet information very useful. Overall, only 33.7% of patients who researched their current orthopedic complaint accessed the institutional website for information.


A large proportion of patients use the internet to research orthopedic information and most patients, especially younger males, find the information useful.

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