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J. Trang, Q. Nguyen, G. Wu, MD; Internet Survey on Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2009;50(13):962.
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To measure the Internet response to an online survey regarding the public's understanding of Age Related Macular Degeneration and its new treatments
A questionnaire about Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) was created and published on a survey website. Survey responses were collected in 24 hours. Forums were selected based on the availability of software tracking for the number of views: Fatwallet.com and Healthtalk.org.
109 responses (RS) occurred in 24 hours. Views per 24 hours: 436 (25% = 109/436). Average age: 38.2 yrs ± 11.9. Gender: 52 (48%) Male; 56 (51%) Female. Education: 29 (27%) Graduate School; 45 (41%) College; 18 (17%) Some College; 13 (12%) High School; 3 (3%) Less than High School. 41% (45/109) RS knew about AMD. Of those RS, age-matched, ages ≥ 40 years vs ≤ 39 yrs: more heard of Avastin (bevacizumab) than Lucentis (ranibizumab) (p=0.021). 75/109 (69%) reported that their primary source of medical information on their eyes were received from their doctors.
While online surveys can be used as a method of data collection, the average age of the Internet user is younger than the population demographic of individuals with AMD. Thus, our survey had fewer respondents than page views. Nonetheless, the knowledge about Avastin (ranibizumab) compared to Lucentis (bevacizumab) was noteworthy. Despite the heavy advertisements of Lucentis in the major media outlets, newspapers, television and internet, more respondents had heard about Avastin as a treatment option for AMD. In addition, the majority of the respondents in our small study reported that physicians served as the primary source of their medical information. Thus, as physicians, our role is important in educating the public about AMD.
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