European Spine Journal

, Volume 21, Issue 10, pp 1972–1977 | Cite as

Internet use by parents of children attending a dedicated scoliosis outpatient clinic

  • Joseph F. Baker
  • Brian M. Devitt
  • Sam Lynch
  • Connor J. Green
  • Damien P. Byrne
  • Patrick J. Kiely
Original Article



No information exists on the level of internet use among parents of pediatric patients with scoliosis. The internet may represent a medium through which to provide information to augment the outpatient consultation. The aim of this research was to establish the prevalence of internet use amongst a cohort of parents attending a pediatric scoliosis outpatient clinic.


A previously used questionnaire (Baker et al., Eur Spine J, 19:1776–1779, 2010) was distributed to parents attending a dedicated scoliosis outpatient clinic with their children. Demographic data and details about use of the internet were collected.


Fifty-eight percent of respondents had used the internet to search for information on scoliosis, and 94 % were interested in a local internet provided information provision. A positive history of corrective surgery and possession of health insurance were independent positive predictors of internet use.


As surgeons we need to be aware of our patients’ use of the internet, and there is the opportunity to use this medium to provide additional education.


Internet Pediatric Scoliosis Information provision Outpatient 


Conflict of interest



  1. 1.
    Mathur S, Shanti N, Brkaric M, Sood V, Kubeck J, Paulino C, Merola AA (2005) Surfing for scoliosis: the quality of information available on the internet. Spine (Phila Pa 1976) 30:2695–2700. doi: 00007632-200512010-00016 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Baker JF, Devitt BM, Kiely PD, Green J, Mulhall KJ, Synnott KA, Poynton AR (2010) Prevalence of internet use amongst an elective spinal surgery outpatient population. Eur Spine J 19:1776–1779. doi: 10.1007/s00586-010-1377-y PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Davidson B (2012) Cyberchondria. Accessed 23 May 2012
  4. 4.
    Badarudeen S, Sabharwal S (2008) Readability of patient education materials from the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America web sites. J Bone Joint Surg Am 90:199–204. doi: 10.2106/JBJS.G.00347 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Kim GR, Lehmann CU (2003) The impact of the internet on pediatric medicine. Paediatr Drugs 5:433–441PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Wyatt JC (2000) Knowledge and the internet. J R Soc Med 93:565–570PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hungerford DS (2009) Internet access produces misinformed patients: managing the confusion. Orthopedics 32. doi: 10.3928/01477447-20090728-04
  8. 8.
    Pellise F, Sell P (2009) Patient information and education with modern media: the Spine Society of Europe Patient Line. Eur Spine J 18(Suppl 3):395–401. doi: 10.1007/s00586-009-0973-1 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Beall MS 3rd, Golladay GJ, Greenfield ML, Hensinger RN, Biermann JS (2002) Use of the internet by pediatric orthopaedic outpatients. J Pediatr Orthop 22:261–264PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Aslam N, Bowyer D, Wainwright A, Theologis T, Benson M (2005) Evaluation of internet use by paediatric orthopaedic outpatients and the quality of information available. J Pediatr Orthop B 14:129–133. doi: 01202412-200503000-00014 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Shuyler KS, Knight KM (2003) What are patients seeking when they turn to the internet? Qualitative content analysis of questions asked by visitors to an orthopaedics web site. J Med Internet Res 5:e24. doi: 10.2196/jmir.5.4.e24 PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Joseph F. Baker
    • 1
  • Brian M. Devitt
    • 1
  • Sam Lynch
    • 1
  • Connor J. Green
    • 1
  • Damien P. Byrne
    • 1
  • Patrick J. Kiely
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Orthopaedic SurgeryOur Lady’s Children’s HospitalDublinIreland

Personalised recommendations