Patient information needs: pre- and post-consultation


Attfield, S., Adams, A. and Blandford, A. 2006. Patient information needs: pre- and post-consultation. Health Informatics Journal. 12 (2), pp. 165-177.
TitlePatient information needs: pre- and post-consultation
AuthorsAttfield, S., Adams, A. and Blandford, A.

This paper presents findings from a study of information seeking behaviour by National Health Service patients which explored motivational triggers for infor- mation needs. Previous research has highlighted the importance of contextual elements in users' changing information needs. This paper highlights how those needs may centre on specific events: in particular, a patient's consultation with their doctor. Patients initiate information seeking to assess whether they need clinical intervention, in preparation for the patient–doctor consultation and to verify the diagnosis or treatment stemming from that consultation. The study has revealed that having confidence in health practitioners is one key motiva- tion for information seeking. Another is a desire to use health service resources judiciously, efficiently and effectively.

KeywordsDigital libraries; health information; information needs; patients; user study
JournalHealth Informatics Journal
Publication dates
PrintJun 2006
Publication process dates
Deposited28 Aug 2013
Output statusPublished
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
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