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Internet usage and openness to internet-delivered health information among Australian adults aged over 50 years

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Author(s): Ian T. Zajac | Ingrid H.K. Flight | Carlene Wilson | Deborah Turnbull | Steve Cole | Graeme Young

Journal: Australasian Medical Journal
ISSN 1836-1935

Volume: 5;
Issue: 5;
Start page: 262;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Internet Usage | Personalised Decision Support | Cancer

ABSTRACT
BackgroundThe cost of healthcare in Australia’s ageing population isever increasing. In an attempt to reduce these rising costs,the internet has been suggested as a possible means ofdisseminating health-related information and promotingpreventive health behaviours.ObjectiveOur objective was to determine the proportion ofAustralians aged 50-74 years who have internet access, andthe characteristics of internet usage, current online healthinformation seeking behaviour, and the willingness toreceive unsolicited health information via the Internet.MethodA random sample of N=25,511 urban older Australians aged50 to 74 years received a questionnaire via mail and wereasked to complete questions concerning variables related tointernet usage. N=8,762 returned a competedquestionnaire.ResultsEighty-two per cent of respondents reported havinginternet access, mainly at home (94%), and the majorityactively use this technology (93%). Younger people andthose of higher socio-economic status and higher educationwere more likely to have access (p
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