1 Forskningsenheden for Almen Praksis, Faculty of Health Sciences, Aarhus University, Aarhus University2 Department of Public Health - Forskningsenheden for Almen Praksis, Department of Public Health, Health, Aarhus University3 Department of Public Health - Forskningsenheden for Almen Praksis, Department of Public Health, Health, Aarhus University
Introduction: The Internet is increasingly being used for disseminating knowledge in health care. Often this is done through a ‘Uniform Resource Locator’ (URL), better known as a link. There are three ways of sharing a link: verbally, in print or electronically. Furthermore, timing and exposure play a role. Although Danish general practitioners (GPs) use PCs with an internet connection in their clinics, the best link-sharing strategies remain unknown. Aim: To evaluate link-sharing strategies in relation to mammography screening. Methods: In connection with the mammography screening programme in Central Denmark Region, we constructed a website containing screening programme information for GPs. We inserted the link to this website in different media and divided the GPs into three groups: Group 1 received a letter prior to the screening event and an electronic test result after the screening. In addition to this, GPs in group 2 received an e-mail with the link at the midpoint of the programme. In addition to what the other two groups received, group 3 received an e-mail with the link two days after the letter. A paper-based survey of the use of the link was conducted among the 330 involved GPs. Results: In total, 242 (73%) GPs returned the questionnaire. The mean age of the respondents was 54 years (36-70 years), and 63% were men. The proportion of GPs who used the link from the paper letter was 22% (95% CI: 17-27%). When inserted into the electronic test result sent to the GP, 37% (95% CI: 31-43%) reported use of the link. The difference between the two strategies was 15% (95% CI: 8-22%) (P<0.001). 28% (95% CI: 22-35%) used the link prior to the screening event, and 37% (95% CI: 30-43%) used the link afterwards. The difference was 9% (95% CI: 0-17%) (P=0.035). Among the GPs in group 1, 40% (95% CI: 29-50%) used the link. In group 2, this proportion was 51% (95% CI: 39-62%). In group 3, 44% (95% CI: 33-56%) used the link. Conclusion: The results suggest that link in electronic test results are more efficient than link in paper letters, and that GPs find the link most relevant after the screening event.