Vol 83, No 4 (2012)

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Internet as a source of information about infertility among infertile patients

Piotr Jędrzejczak, Leszek Pawelczyk, Marta Ponieważ, Monika Serdyńska-Szuster, Jan Hauke, Joanna Talarczyk
Ginekol Pol 2012;83(4).


Objectives: Around one million couples in Poland suffer from infertility. People in reproductive age are most active Internet users. The aim of the study was to assess Internet habits of infertile patients. We checked to what extent infertile patients seek information about infertility on-line and what is their approach to the information found. Materials and Methods: 85 female patients treated for infertility for at least one year were surveyed. The anonymous questionnaire was designed by the authors of the publication. It consisted of questions related to medical history of the patients and sources of information about infertility they used. It also checked Internet activity of the patients and contained Beck’s Depression Inventory (BDI). Chi-square test and Spearman’s correlation test were used to evaluate the results. Results: The majority of patients used Internet to find information about infertility (93%); 46% of the respondent declared Internet forums to be their main source of information about it. Patients used on-line sources of information more often than stricte medical sources. Internet influenced their relation with the physician. 64% of patients verified on-line information and treatment proposed by their doctor before using them. One third of the surveyed women claimed their knowledge about infertility comes more from the Internet than the specialist who treated them. There was a positive correlation between patients who checked diagnostic or therapeutic methods proposed by their physician with depression in BDI. Conclusions: Considering the great impact of Internet forums and web pages on patient approach to diagnostics and treatment of infertility, there seems to be a need to create a professional Polish website and forum to provide the patients with reliable information about the disease.

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