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Internet use by ophthalmology patients
  1. Niro Narendran,
  2. Kwesi Amissah-Arthur,
  3. Markus Groppe,
  4. Stephen Scotcher
  1. Hereford County Hospital, Union Walk, Hereford, UK
  1. Correspondence to Mrs Niro Narendran, Wolverhampton and Midland Counties Eye Infirmary, Wednesfield Road, Wolverhampton WV10 0QP, UK; niro_narendran{at}

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The internet is a widely accessible source of information, but it is difficult for individuals without medical knowledge to assess the quality and reliability of healthcare information obtained.

We wished to assess whether patients and parents of children attending our ophthalmology clinics had internet access, whether they used it to obtain healthcare information and also whether clinicians should be guiding patients about reputable healthcare websites.


An anonymous questionnaire was given to patients and parents of children attending ophthalmology clinics in a district general hospital over an 8 week period.


Four-hundred and ninety-five questionnaires were returned from 397 patients and 98 parents of children (response rates of 84% and 77%, respectively). Most patients were in the >60-year-old age group and most of the parents were in the 21–40-year-age group (table 1). Overall, the largest …

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  • This work was presented at the Royal College of Ophthalmologists Annual Congress 2008.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Ethics approval The questionnaire had the approval of the hospital trust's Patient Advice and Liaison Service.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.

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