Surgeons’ interactions with and attitudes toward E-patients: Questionnaire study in Germany and Oman

Ken Masters, Teresa Loda, Jonas Johannink, Rashid Al-Abri, Anne Herrmann-Werner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Doctors’ interactions with and attitudes toward e-patients have an overall impact on health care delivery. Objective: This study aimed to gauge surgeons’ interactions with e-patients, their attitudes toward those e-patient activities, the possible impact on the delivery of health care, and the reasons behind those activities and attitudes. Methods: We created a paper-based and electronic survey form based on pertinent variables identified in the literature, and from March 2018 to July 2018 we surveyed 49 surgeons in Germany and 59 surgeons in Oman, asking them about their interactions with and attitudes toward e-patients. Data were stored in Microsoft Excel and SPSS, and descriptive statistics, Pearson correlations, and chi-square tests were performed on the data. Results: Of our sample, 71% (35/49) of the German surgeons and 56% (33/59) of the Omani surgeons communicated electronically with their patients. Although the German surgeons spent a greater percentage of Internet usage time on work-related activities (χ218=32.5; P=.02) than the Omani surgeons, there were many similarities in their activities. An outstanding difference was that the German surgeons used email with their patients more than the Omani surgeons (χ21=9.0; P=.003), and the Omani surgeons used social media, specifically WhatsApp, more than the German surgeons (χ21=18.6; P
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Medical Internet Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2020


  • Attitude
  • Communication
  • Digital health
  • Doctor-patient relationship
  • E-patient
  • E-physician
  • Empowerment
  • Internet
  • Internet-informed patient
  • Physician
  • Technology


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