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The University Hospital Zurich Offers a Medical Online Consultation Service for Men With Intimate Health Problems


Schmidt-Weitmann, Sabine; Schulz, Urs; Schmid, Daniel Max; Brockes, Christiane (2017). The University Hospital Zurich Offers a Medical Online Consultation Service for Men With Intimate Health Problems. American Journal of Men's Health, 11(3):518-524.

Abstract

The University Hospital of Zurich offers a text-based, Medical Online Consultation Service to the public since 1999. Users asked health questions anonymously to tele-doctors. This study focused on the characteristics of male enquirers with intimate health problems, the content of their questions, the medical advice given by tele-doctors and the rating of the service to prove the benefit of an online service for medical laymen. This retrospective study included 5.1% of 3,305 enquiries from 2008 to 2010 using the International Classification of Diseases-10 and International Classification of Primary Care codes relevant for intimate and sexual health problems in men. A professional text analysis program (MAXQDA) supported the content analysis, which is based on the procedure of inductive category development described by Mayring. The average age was 40 years, 63.1% enquirers had no comorbidity, in 62.5% it was the first time they consulted a doctor, and 70.2% asked for a specific, single, intimate health issue. In 64.3%, the most important organ of concern was the penis. Overall, 30.4% asked about sexually transmitted diseases. In 74.4% a doctor visit was recommended to clarify the health issue. The rating of the problem solving was very good. The service was mainly used by younger men without comorbidity and no previous contact with a doctor with regard to an intimate health problem. The anonymous setting of the teleconsultation provided men individual, professional medical advice and decision support. Teleconsultation is suggested to empower patients by developing more health literacy.

Abstract

The University Hospital of Zurich offers a text-based, Medical Online Consultation Service to the public since 1999. Users asked health questions anonymously to tele-doctors. This study focused on the characteristics of male enquirers with intimate health problems, the content of their questions, the medical advice given by tele-doctors and the rating of the service to prove the benefit of an online service for medical laymen. This retrospective study included 5.1% of 3,305 enquiries from 2008 to 2010 using the International Classification of Diseases-10 and International Classification of Primary Care codes relevant for intimate and sexual health problems in men. A professional text analysis program (MAXQDA) supported the content analysis, which is based on the procedure of inductive category development described by Mayring. The average age was 40 years, 63.1% enquirers had no comorbidity, in 62.5% it was the first time they consulted a doctor, and 70.2% asked for a specific, single, intimate health issue. In 64.3%, the most important organ of concern was the penis. Overall, 30.4% asked about sexually transmitted diseases. In 74.4% a doctor visit was recommended to clarify the health issue. The rating of the problem solving was very good. The service was mainly used by younger men without comorbidity and no previous contact with a doctor with regard to an intimate health problem. The anonymous setting of the teleconsultation provided men individual, professional medical advice and decision support. Teleconsultation is suggested to empower patients by developing more health literacy.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Urological Clinic
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Date:2017
Deposited On:26 Jan 2016 17:20
Last Modified:18 Apr 2017 01:00
Publisher:Sage Publications Ltd.
ISSN:1557-9883
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1177/1557988315614890
PubMed ID:26614442

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