Dynamics of internet use during the stages of in vitro fertilization
until further notice
SourceFertility and Sterility, 91, 3, (2009), pp. 953-956
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ NISCO MT
Fertility and Sterility
Hospitals and clinics develop Internet strategies to emancipate and empower their patient population. At Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre, we developed an Internet-based personal health record that provides patients with general and personal information about their treatment and that provides facilities for communication with fellow patients and with physicians. Because not much is known about information and communication needs of IVF and ICSI patients in relation to their treatment, we observed the intensity of use of this personal health record during the various stages of IVF treatment. We measured the numbers of page views and the number of contributions to the chat room. Data regarding Website use and treatment schedules were available for 51 couples. These couples generated 25,420 page views and posted 11,403 utterances. Two-way analysis of variance showed that significant individual changes occurred in the intensity of use during the different stages of the treatment. During the stages in which there is no contact between the patient and the clinic, patients make use of the Website's communication functions. This reflects the patients' need for continued communication and support during the last stages of treatment, a service that IVF clinics traditionally cannot or do not provide.
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