A Randomized Controlled Trial of an Information Prescription for Pediatric Patient Education on the Internet

The Internet is increasingly used by parents as a resource for health care information. Information Prescriptions (IPs) are descriptions of specific, evidence-based information that ensure patients have access to good quality data. The goal of this study was to determine whether an Information Prescription (IP), given by a pediatrician in a general pediatric clinic, would change the attitudes and/or behavior of parents about using Internet health information resources. The study comprised 100 parents in the control group and 97 parents in the intervention group; the latter was offered computer training and received the IP and a training summary handout. The study found that the intervention group reported using the Internet more during follow-up than the control group. Websites accessed by the intervention parents (66.2 percent) were recommended by the pediatrician in the IP. The intervention group claimed that they would use the IP in the future and had already recommended it to family and friends. The study concludes that the IP was successful in changing behavior and parental attitudes in relation to Internet use.