IVF patients show three types of online behaviour.
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SourceHuman Reproduction, 23, 11, (2008), pp. 2501-2505
Article / Letter to editor
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Primary and Community Care
SubjectEBP 1: Determinants of Health and Disease; EBP 2: Effective Hospital Care; NCEBP 12: Human Reproduction; NCEBP 8: Psychological determinants of chronic illness; EBP 1: Determinants of Health and Disease
BACKGROUND: The internet introduces new ways to deal with stress. However, it is unclear how its resources are used in everyday life. Using a web-based personal health record (PHR), we observed the patient's online behaviour and linked this to distress, theories on dealing with stress and demographics. METHODS: Between 2004 and 2007, all viewed web-pages were logged and categorized into 14 content types. Behavioural styles were elicited using factor analysis. These behavioural styles were subsequently correlated to data on demographics, coping mechanisms and distress from the female partner of the first 53 patient couples that used the PHR. RESULTS: One thousand and fifty patient couples viewed 588 887 web pages during their first treatment cycle. Factor analysis elicited three online behavioural styles explaining 66.9% of all variance in usage of the website: an 'individual information style', a 'generic information style' and a 'communication style'. The 'individual information style' correlated negatively to having paid employment (Spearman = -0.364, P = 0.007) and emotional coping mechanisms (Spearman = -0.305, P = 0.028). The 'communication style' correlated positively to having paid employment (Spearman = 0.318, P = 0.021) and anxiety (Spearman = 0.381, P = 0.005). CONCLUSIONS: IVF patients show three types of online behaviour. Only limited correlations exist between these styles and demographics, coping mechanisms or distress. When planning a website or portal for IVF patients, content should be adopted accordingly.
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