GOOD MORNING USE OF INTERNET AS RESOURCE OF ORAL HEALTH INFORMATION AMONG DENTAL PATIENTS Presenter: Dr SANJEEV LALLER [email protected] Co-presenter: Dr RAVINDER S SAINI IRSL-14086 INTRODUCTION The evolution of the Internet has not only enabled the public to view multiple reserves of information at the click of a computer mouse, but even to the extent that access to medical and dental information is no longer the sole preserve of health professionals. And thus, the Internet has the potential to educate and empower the dental consumer by providing information on oral health services and by supporting self-help and patient choice. Thus this study was conducted with sole aim to find out use of internet as resource of oral health information among dental patients. LITERATURE REVIEW Harris CE conducted a study to determine if patients attending student dental hygiene clinics had accessed the Internet, used the Internet as a source of information on both general health and oral health. Chestnutt IG sought to identify how patient information on the Internet has influenced the delivery of oral care and the use practitioners themselves make of the Internet. Riordain RN investigated the use of the Internet by patients attending a range of dental clinics to search for information regarding dental procedures, and also to investigate their interest in online dental consultations. OBJECTIVES This study was designed to determine if patients attending dental college clinics had accessed the Internet, used the Internet as a source of information for oral health, bought oral health care products on-line, and to identify the reason for seeking health information for which the internet is used and to identify the most frequently used location. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY The present study was conducted at PDM Dental College and Research Institute, Bahadurgarh, Haryana, India. A questionnaire consisting of 12 questions including patient’s demographics, internet usage, commonly used sites, whether they use internet to consult dentist online, location of internet usage, whether use internet for online dental shopping, most frequently searched website, whether search/download dental health related videos, whether they use internet again to source health information etc was distributed to 1000 patients. Study samples were divided into three age groups: group-I (21-40) years, group-II (41-60) years and group-III (>60) years. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Out of 1000 questionnaires distributed to dental patients, only 700 were included in the study. Out of these 700 study samples it was found that only 480(68.57%) are familiar with internet usage or conduct research online to gather information related to any field with males (62.10%) dominating over females differing from previous study by Riordian RN. Thus 480 were considered as the final study sample for analysis. Google was reported the most common and frequently used search engine by these patients. RESULTS FOR AGE-WISE ONLINE RESEARCH FOR DENTAL PROBLEM Age group(years) Online research conducted n(%) Online not research conducted Total n(%) I (21-40) 118 (24.58%) 72 (15%) 190 II (41-60) 62(12.91%) 98 (20.41%) 160 III (>60) 10(2.08%) 120 (25%) 130 Total 190 (39.58%) 290 (60.41%) 480 (%age out of 480 sample size) RESULTS FOR AGE-WISE ONLINE RESEARCH FOR DENTAL PROBLEM 25 20 15 Online research conducted Online research not conducted 10 5 0 Group-I Group-II Group-III RESULTS FOR LOCATION OF INTERNET USAGE Location Online researchers %age Home 68 35.78 Work place 102 53.68 Cyber café 20 10.52 RESULTS FOR LOCATION OF INTERNET USAGE Online researchers Home Work place Cyber café RESULTS FOR REASON FOR ONLINE DENTAL RESEARCH Reason for research Number %age To improve knowledge about problem 88 46.31 To seek alternative treatment 32 16.84 Online dental shopping 02 1.05 To verify cost of treatment 10 5.26 To seek specialist for problem 58 30.52 RESULTS FOR REASON FOR ONLINE DENTAL RESEARCH Percentage Seek specialist Verify cost Online dental shopping Percentage Seek alternative treatment To improve knowledge 0 10 20 30 40 50 FINDINGS (68.57%) are familiar with internet usage or conduct research online to gather information related to any field with males (62.10%) domination. Out of these online research for dental problem was conducted by 190(39.58%) patients only with maximum being in age group-I. The reason for this could be that more patients were not aware of or didn’t know how to search for dental sites. And age group-I being consisting of students or Government or private employees and are educated and know basics of internet search engines and thus were in majority of internet users. FINDINGS Most favorable site or location for Internet use by dental patients was found to be the work place (53.68%) and thus it should be taken care by the management, head in charge or owners of the working place to make possible arrangements for good and proper internet facilities. FINDINGS Majority of patients (46.31%) conduct online research mainly to improve their knowledge about their existing dental problem. 30.52 % patients search specialist for their oral health problems. Therefore dental practitioners should motivate patients to research their dental/oral condition or problem online and should encourage them to search for dental products online. CONCLUSION Internet plays an important role in keeping patients up to date related to their dental conditions and related remedies. Availability of Internet at work place and at home is important. Dental practitioners should teach their patients regarding online research to gather information for oral health solutions and encourage them to be cautious about the scientific validity of the information provided. Thus practitioner-led guidance for patients regarding quality information resources online is critical and can bring excellent changes in maintaining good oral health around the world. REFERENCES www.INVESTECH.COM (accessed on January 2014). Riordan RN and McCreary C. Dental patient’s use of the Internet. British Dental Journal Volume 207 No. 12 Dec 19 2009. Riordan RN and McCreary C. 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