Text Size: A- A+ Facebook Twitter LinkedIn YouTube

Breaking News

Pledge the Gift of Life

Each year, the lives of thousands of people across the country are saved because someone made the choice to become an organ donor. In April, Allegheny Health Network is honored to celebrate National Donate Life Month and pay tribute to all of those who have bestowed the precious gift of life to another through organ donation. Visit AHNdonate.org to learn more and register to be an organ donor.



Format: 04/19/2014
Format: 04/19/2014


Pittsburgh Tribune Review: Medical patients drawn to Internet when managing own health

Monday, November 16th, 2009

When the pain in her knee from an old running injury continued even after surgery, Sarah McCluan turned to the Internet for help.

"I don't use it to diagnose myself, but I do go to the Internet for basic information," said McCluan, who downloaded some knee strengthening exercises that she is following.

McCluan, 37, of Hopewell is among a growing number of wired adults searching the Internet for medical information.

Eight in 10 Internet users look online for information about health topics — researching specific diseases and treatments, alternative medicine, health insurance, doctors, hospitals and ways to stay healthy, according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project, which tracks the social impact of the Internet.

"You can monitor clinical trials online, access journal articles ... but there's also a lot of spin, advocacy and old information," said Lee Rainie, director of the Washington-based research group.

Sixty percent of these e-patients, as they're called, said they or someone they know were helped by following medical advice or health information found on the Internet. That's up from 31 percent in 2006, Pew researchers said. The Internet ranks third behind health professionals and family members as a source for medical advice, the researchers said.

But the "e" stands for more than electronic; it means "equipped, enabled, empowered and engaged," said Susannah Fox, associate director of digital strategy at Pew.

That has forced some changes at doctors' offices, said physicians, many of whom are spending more time interacting with patients.

"They very often come in with a print-out. ... They have questions," said Marc Itskowitz, an internist at Allegheny General Hospital. "We have to respond to what they're looking for on the Internet."


To read the rest of the story, please visit the Pittsburgh Tribune Review. 

West Penn Allegheny Health System
Tell us who you are:

What areas do you use on our website?*
(select more than one if it applies)

Did you find what you were looking for?

Would you refer others to our website?

Can we contact you for future questions?

CAPTCHA math question:* 6 + 9 =

Thank you for completing the West Penn Allegheny Health System website survey.
We value your feedback and comments.