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Research Article

Computers in the surgery. The patient's view.

Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984; 288 doi: (Published 28 January 1984) Cite this as: Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) 1984;288:289
  1. M Pringle,
  2. S Robins,
  3. G Brown


    A postal survey sent to 350 patients from two rural practices confirmed that an appreciable minority of patients (17%) were opposed to doctors using computers. The questionnaire distributed had been carefully designed to identify their opposition more specifically. Most of the general concern was accounted for by the 91 patients (31%) who feared that confidentiality of information would be reduced. The sensitive nature of medical information alerts patients to the possibility of diminished security of records and obliges practices considering acquiring a computer to ensure that these fears are not realised. Smaller proportions of patients were found to oppose computers on other grounds--namely, impersonality, economy, and general anxiety.