eHealth Literacy in Otolaryngology Patients

Christopher Eric Bailey, William J. Kohler, Chadi Makary, Kristin Davis, Nicholas Sweet, Michele Carr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives: The aim of this study was to compare eHealth literacy—one’s perception of one’s ability to use the Internet for health care—among otolaryngology patients in 3 geographic settings of the same department. Setting: An academic otolaryngology department. Method: Patients’ opinions and perceptions of their eHealth literacy were assessed with a validated paper survey administered in the summer of 2017. Results: Of 381 asked, 351 people completed the survey, 149 at a university town teaching hospital clinic (group A), 101 at a nearby rural clinic (group B), and 101 at a remote rural clinic (group C). Mean scores were 30.80, 28.97, and 29.03 for groups A, B, and C, respectively. The overall mean was 29.76 ± 5.97. Three surveys reported the minimum score of 8, and 26 reported the maximum score of 40. Results were statistically significantly different among all sites (P =.001), between groups A and B (P =.027), and between groups A and C (P =.0175). Women reported higher eHealth literacy (30.13 ± 6.27) than men (28.87 ± 5.11) (P =.045). Participant age and role (patient or parent of a patient) were statistically insignificant. Mean scores were similar to those previously reported in other patient populations. Conclusions: Otolaryngology patients in a university town had better eHealth literacy than patients in more rural settings, suggesting that online medical resources and access points are less likely to be useful in rural populations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1013-1018
Number of pages6
JournalAnnals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • eHEALS
  • eHealth
  • electronic
  • health literacy
  • self-assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

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  • Cite this

    Bailey, C. E., Kohler, W. J., Makary, C., Davis, K., Sweet, N., & Carr, M. (2019). eHealth Literacy in Otolaryngology Patients. Annals of Otology, Rhinology and Laryngology, 128(11), 1013-1018.