Knowledge, attitudes and practice of University of Detroit Mercy School of Dentistry patients searching medical and dental information through the internet

Moukled, Aziz, and Mert Aksu

The objective of this survey research was to determine the knowledge, attitudes, and practice of UDM School of Dentistry patients searching medical and dental information through the internet. In order to achieve this objective we surveyed current dental patients of record to determine how many utilize the internet to search for health related information. We also aimed to determine whether usage of the internet by the UDMSOD patient population was similar to usage reported in a national survey conducted by the US Department of Health and Human Services (NCHS Data Brief No. 66, July 2011. Use of the Internet for Health Information: United States, 2009). A 28 question survey in multiple question formats was distributed to patients in the patient bay. Patients were given the opportunity to participate in the survey during their regularly scheduled appointment. Compared to the national survey, gender differences were not significant. At UDMSOD, there are significant fewer non-Hispanic Asian patients. At UDMSOD, there are fewer unemployed and retired patients who use the internet for health information. There are more patients who are not insured at UDMSOD and fewer patients who had private insurance who use the internet. Based on this initial survey, there appear to be many differences in the patient population at UDMSOD who use the internet for health information compared to the national sample. Of note, 44 of 218 patients (20%) either do not have access to a computer or don’t use a computer.