Do general practice patients find computer health risk surveys acceptable? A comparison with pen-and-paper method

B Bonevski, RW Sanson-Fisher, Elizabeth M Campbell, MC Ireland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives: This study aimed to compare the acceptability of two methods (pen-and-paper survey with computer-assisted survey) of health risk assessment for general practice patients; and to examine patient characteristics associated with acceptability ratings. Methods: A cross- sectional survey was conducted of 213 general practice patients. Patients completed a computer-assisted health risk survey (examining smoking status, alcohol use, benzodiazepine use and illicit drug use) and a paper health risk survey within the surgery waiting room on two separate occasions. An acceptability survey assessed four main domains; (1) acceptability of the computer survey; (2) mode of administration preference, (3) potential acceptability of computer intervention, (4) acceptability of health topics assessed. Results: Ninety-seven percent of patients found the computer survey “enjoyable”, only 5 per cent reported that the computer survey was “difficult to use”, and 91 per cent of patients “ preferred” using the computer survey to the paper survey or rated preference for both surveys equal. Acceptability of a potential computer intervention as a routine component of general practice was also high. Few associations between patient sociodemographic and health risk status variables and acceptability ratings were found. Conclusions: The study demonstrated that computer- assisted screening of patient health risk status and computer delivery of information and health education have the potential to be very acceptable forms of preventive screening and intervention with general practice patients. (author abstract)
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)100-106
Number of pages7
JournalHealth Promotion Journal of Australia
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 1997
Externally publishedYes


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