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Background: Patients with orthopedic conditions frequently use the internet to find health information. Patient education that is distributed online may form an easily accessible, time- and cost-effective alternative to education delivered through traditional channels such as one-on-one consultations or booklets. However, no systematic evidence for the comparative effectiveness of Web-based educational interventions exists. Objective: The objective of this systematic review was to examine the effects of Web-based patient education interventions for adult orthopedic patients and to compare its effectiveness with generic health information websites and traditional forms of patient education. Methods: CINAHL, the Cochrane Library, EMBASE, MEDLINE, PsycINFO, PUBMED, ScienceDirect, Scopus, and Web of Science were searched covering the period from 1995 to 2016. Peer-reviewed English and Dutch studies were included if they delivered patient education via the internet to the adult orthopedic population and assessed its effects in a controlled or observational trial. Results: A total of 10 trials reported in 14 studies involving 4172 patients were identified. Nine trials provided evidence for increased patients' knowledge after Web-based patient education. Seven trials reported increased satisfaction and good evaluations of Web-based patient education. No compelling evidence exists for an effect of Web-based patient education on anxiety, health attitudes and behavior, or clinical outcomes. Conclusions: Web-based patient education may be offered as a time- and cost-effective alternative to current educational interventions when the objective is to improve patients' knowledge and satisfaction. However, these findings may not be representative for the whole orthopedic patient population as most trials included considerably younger, higher-educated, and internet-savvy participants only.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere143
Pages (from-to)1-14
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Volume20
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • Health education, Humans, Internet, Orthopedics, Patient education as topic, Patient satisfaction, Preoperative care

ID: 45341670