Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
×
Home

Internet information-seeking in mental health: Population survey

  • John Powell (a1) and Aileen Clarke (a2)
Abstract
Background

A major use of the internet is for health information-seeking. There has been little research into its use in relation to mental health.

Aims

To investigate the prevalence of internet use for mental health information-seeking and its relative importance as a mental health information source.

Method

General population survey. Questions covered internet use, past psychiatric history and the 12-item General Health Questionnaire.

Results

Eighteen per cent of all internet users had used the internet for information related to mental health. The prevalence was higher among those with a past history of mental health problems and those with current psychological distress. Only 12% of respondents selected the internet as one of the three most accurate sources of information, compared with 24% who responded that it was one of the three sources they would use.

Conclusions

The internet has a significant role in mental health information-seeking. The internet is used more than it is trusted.

  • View HTML
    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Internet information-seeking in mental health
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Internet information-seeking in mental health
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your <service> account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Internet information-seeking in mental health
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Corresponding author
Dr John Powell, Health Sciences Research Institute, Medical School Building, Gibbet Hill Campus, University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL, UK. Email: john.powell@warwick.ac.uk
Footnotes
Hide All

Declaration of interest

None.

Funding detailed in Acknowledgement.

Footnotes
References
Hide All
Andersson, G., Bergström, J., Holländare, F., et al (2005) Internet-based self-help for depression: randomised controlled trial. British Journal of Psychiatry, 187, 456461.
Baker, L., Wagner, T. H., Singer, S., et al (2003) Use of the internet and e-mail for health care information: results from a national survey. JAMA, 289, 24002406.
Berger, M., Wagner, T. H. & Baker, L. C. (2005) Internet use and stigmatized illness. Social Science and Medicine, 61, 18211827.
Carr-Hill, R. & Roberts, D. (1999) Population figures for capitation formulas need to be designed differently. BMJ, 318, 1145.
Case, D. O. (2002) Looking for Information. A Survey of Research on Information Seeking, Needs, and Behaviour. San Diego: Academic Press.
Christensen, H. & Griffiths, K. (2000) The internet and mental health literacy. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 34, 975979.
Christensen, H., Griffiths, K. M. & Jorm, A. F. (2004) Delivering interventions for depression by using the internet: randomised controlled trial. BMJ, 328, 265.
Cline, R. J. & Haynes, K. M. (2001) Consumer health information seeking on the internet: the state of the art. Health Education Research, 16, 671692.
Crocco, A. G., Villasis-Keever, M. & Jadad, A. R. (2002) Analysis of cases of harm associated with use of health information on the internet. JAMA, 287, 28692871.
Dutton, W. H., Di Gennaro, C. & Millwood Hargrave, A. (2005) The Internet in Britain: The Oxford Internet Survey (OxIS). Oxford: Oxford Internet Institute.
Edwards, P., Roberts, I., Clarke, M., et al (2002) Increasing response rates to postal questionnaires: systematic review. BMJ, 324, 1183.
Goldberg, D. P. (1972) The Detection of Psychiatric Illness by Questionnaire. London: Oxford University Press.
Goldberg, D. P. & Williams, P. (1988) A User's Guide to the General Health Questionnaire. Windsor: nfer Nelson.
Griffiths, K. M. & Christensen, H. (2000) Quality of web based in formation on treatment of depression: cross sectional survey. BMJ, 321, 15111515.
Griffiths, K. M. & Christensen, H. (2005) Website quality indicators for consumers. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 7, e55.
Griffiths, K. M., Christensen, H., Jorm, A. F., et al (2004) Effect of web-based depression literacy and cognitive-behavioural therapy interventions on stigmatising attitudes to depression: randomised controlled trial. British Journal of Psychiatry, 185, 342349.
McColl, E., Jacoby, A., Thomas, L., et al (2001) Design and use of questionnaires: review of best practice applicable to surveys of health service staff and patients. Health Technology Assessment, 5, 31.
Oliver, M. I., Pearson, N., Coe, N., et al (2005) Help-seeking behaviour in men and women with common mental health problems: cross-sectional study. British Journal of Psychiatry, 186, 297301.
Pennbridge, J., Moya, R. & Rodrigues, L. (1999) Questionnaire survey of California consumers' use and rating of sources of health care information including the internet. Western Journal of Medicine, 171, 302305.
Powell, J. & Clarke, A. (2002) The WWW of the World Wide Web: who, what, and why? Journal of Medical Internet Research, 4, e4.
Powell, J., McCarthy, N. & Eysenbach, G. (2003) Cross-sectional survey of users of internet depression communities. BMC Psychiatry, 3, 19.
Purdon, S. & Nicolaas, G. (2003) Trends in Non-response on Social Surveys – The Survey Context for the One Number Census. London: National Centre for Social Research.
Risk, A. & Dzenowagis, J. (2001) Review of internet health information quality initiatives. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 3, e28.
Williams, P. & Macdonald, A. (1986) The effect of non-response bias on the results of two-stage screening surveys of psychiatric disorder. Social Psychiatry, 21, 182186.
Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
  • URL: /core/journals/the-british-journal-of-psychiatry
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Altmetric attention score

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed

Internet information-seeking in mental health: Population survey

  • John Powell (a1) and Aileen Clarke (a2)
Submit a response

eLetters

No eLetters have been published for this article.

×

Reply to: Submit a response


Your details


Conflicting interests

Do you have any conflicting interests? *