Objective: To explore how best to make high-quality preventive health information available to consumers on the Internet.
Design: Focus groups.
Setting: Three urban workplaces and one local hospital with patients from a rural family medical practice.
Participants: Twenty-two men and 17 women patients.
Method: Qualitative survey of four focus groups, analysis of transcripts and researchers' notes.
Main findings: Five themes characterized participants' perceptions of a consumer website of evidence-based preventive guidelines: content expectations, website design, trustworthiness of content, marketing, and the implications of consumer health information on the Internet.
Conclusion: Consumers want preventive health information both for taking care of themselves and for participating in a more informed way in their health care when they see a physician. Findings of this study reveal some ways in which consumers' use of Internet health information can affect physicians' and other health professionals' work.