Patient Beliefs and Behaviors on Online Information Use and Choice of Orthopedic Surgeon

Orthopedic Surgeon Selection Sources




Orthopedics, Practice Management, Social Media


Background: Due to increased patient choice, patient attitudes and behavior are important to understand. Few studies have examined the trustworthiness of online information and how it affects surgeon selection. This study examined patient attitudes and behavior toward online information and orthopedic surgeon choices. Secondary goals included understanding provider selection characteristics and their relationship to patient age and education.

Materials and Methods: This cross-sectional study included five orthopedic surgery groups from various specialties. 165 orthopedic surgery patients received a 25-item questionnaire. Patients were asked to answer the questionnaire anonymously. Six questions assessed patient attitudes and behaviors toward online information, ten asked patients to rate the importance of orthopedic surgeon selection criteria on a 4-point Likert scale, and four asked about demographics.

Results: Emergency room (15/165, 8.8%), friend (21/165, 12.8%), insurance company (24/165 14.3%), internet search/website (14/165, 8.5%), primary care physician (74/165, 45.0%), and other are patient-reported referral sources. Before their initial appointment, 65 (39.5%) of 165 patients searched the Internet. Younger age groups believed internet material was more accurate and complete (P=.02). Younger groups were more likely to view physician rating websites as unbiased (P=.003), provide sufficient patient satisfaction information (P=.01), and provide physician education and training information (P=.03). A significant trend (P<.001) showed that younger patients were more likely to find a surgeon's website useful.

Conclusions: According to this study, patients place more weight on insurance networks, doctor recommendations, office locations, and appointment availability than they do on advertisements or online patient reviews, which are seen to be less beneficial when selecting an orthopedic surgeon. Future research can look into barriers that patients have when incorporating Internet resources for decision-making and techniques to enhance their health-seeking activities.


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How to Cite

Özkul, E. (2023). Patient Beliefs and Behaviors on Online Information Use and Choice of Orthopedic Surgeon: Orthopedic Surgeon Selection Sources. Ulus Medical Journal, 1(3), 51–58.



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