Attitudes and access to electronic exchange of information on occupational disease

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • External authors:
  • A. L. Rector
  • Yiqun Chen
  • Raymond M. Agius
  • C. Garwood
  • Jeremy Rogers
  • S. Turner


Background. THOR is a network of work-related disease surveillance schemes dependent on volunteer case reporting by medical specialists. Data collection and dissemination has hitherto been paper-based. Aims. To elicit the opinion of existing reporters in THOR on electronic exchange of information and to assess the practical capabilities of the same reporters to participate in electronic communication. Methods. A mail-based questionnaire of randomly selected THOR reporters using closed format questions. Results. The response rate to the questionnaire was 66% (253/383). Almost half (47%) of the responders wanted dissemination of information solely in an electronic form, 35% favoured paper-based reports, while 16% wanted both paper and electronic reports. Two-thirds (66%) would make use of electronic archives of reports and 59% would use this facility to resolve questions by accessing accumulated data. The majority (82%) read e-mail more than once a week and 34% browsed the web as frequently. However, 5% did not have e-mail and 6% never browsed the web. Most responders judged their internet connectivity to be rapid (68%) and convenient (83%), and 91% could receive e-mail attachments. Conclusions. Most responders have the skills and infrastructure required to engage in electronic information exchange, and are favourably disposed to electronic means of communication. However it is also relevant to note that one-third of responders have a preference for the existing paper-based system. © Society of Occupational Medicine 2004; all rights reserved.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)316-321
Number of pages5
JournalOccupational Medicine
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004