Objective: To determine the frequency of internet use in patients with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) to get information about their disease and to examine whether there are demographic differences between internet users and nonusers. Secondary aims were to delineate the information sources patients prefer and whether they consider their knowledge about their disease( s) as sufficient.
Materials and Methods: A questionnaire was sequentially administered to the patients who attended the Cumhuriyet University, Faculty of Medicine, Allergic Diseases and Chest Diseases Outpatient Clinics by face-to-face interviews between October 2004-February 2005. A total of 213 patients completed the questionnaire, among which 102 (47.9%) had asthma, 111 (52.1%) had COPD.
Results: Among the 213 patients, 4 (3.6%) patients with COPD and 31 (30.4%) patients with asthma had a computer at home, and 57 (55.9%) patients with asthma and none of the patients with COPD had internet access. Among the 213 patients, 12 (11.8%) asthmatic patients and 1 (0.9%) patient with COPD had used the internet to get information about their own health. Doctors were the main sources of information about disease (182 patients, 81.0%).
Conclusion: It`s necessary to draw attention of our patient`s with COPD about the necessity of getting information about their diseases. It`s necessary to draw attention of our patient`s with asthma about using the internet for education about their diseases.