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Aim: To assess the effects of internet search on patient knowledge regarding ocular conditions, its effectiveness comparable to counselling which considered to be gold standard.
Methods: We enrolled consecutive patients freshly diagnosed for glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. We randomized all patients in two groups Internet and Counselling Groups. The patients were asked to fill in a pre- tested questionnaire. One group was given pre-tested keywords for search on Internet and other group was counselled. On next visit, the patients were asked to fill the same questionnaire. All answers were documented in the form of numerical score and studied stastically. Data was analysed using frequency and cross tabulation p value <0.05 considered as significant.
Results: We enrolled 123 individuals including 84(68.3%) males, 39 (31%) females having mean age 58+/-13.3. When we compared pre- and post-intervention scores we found significant difference in total as well as in individual groups. (p=0.040) When we compared we did not find any stastically significant difference amongst two groups (p=0.341).
Conclusion: Internet Search is effective tool for public health education. It is as effective as counselling for this purpose.