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This article is based on data from the 2005 Canadian Internet Use Survey (CIUS). Conducted in November 2005, the survey asked 30,466 Canadian residents aged 18 or older about their personal Internet use in the previous 12 months. As a supplement to the Labour Force Survey (LFS), the CIUS excludes residents of the territories, inmates of institutions, residents of Indian reserves, and full-time members of the Canadian Forces.
Population estimates are based on a CIUS person-weight, derived after adjustments to the LFS sub-weight. Standard errors and coefficients of variation are estimated using the bootstrap technique to account for survey design effects. More information on definitions, data sources and methods is available on the Statistics Canada website.5
Respondents to the 2005 CIUS were asked, "Have you ever used the Internet from home, work, school, or any other location for personal non-business use?" Those who reported personal, non-business use of the Internet at home were asked about a number of specific uses, including, "During the past 12 months, have you used the Internet at home to search for medical or health-related information?" An affirmative response led to a series of questions about medical and health use of the Internet. For example, "During the past 12 months, what kind of medical or health-related information did you search for using the Internet?" A list of possible responses was read to the respondents: lifestyle; alternative therapy; health care system or delivery; drugs or medication; surgeries; specific diseases; analysis of specific symptoms; or other. Respondents were then asked if they had communicated with their family doctor about their own health or that of another family member in the past 12 months. Those who had done so were asked, "During the past 12 months, have you discussed with your family doctor or general practitioner, medical or health information you obtained from the Internet?"
AnInternet useris someone who used the Internet from any location in 2005 for personal, non-business reasons. A home-user is someone who reported using the Internet from home, for the same reasons.
Respondents who reported using the Internet from home to search for medical or health-related information were classified as health users.
Other users were respondents who used the Internet from home, but not to search for medical or health-related information.
Respondents who reported that they had never used the Internet for personal, non-business reasons, or who had used it, but not in the past 12 months, were classified as non-users.
Duration of Internet use was measured in number of years respondents had been online.
Intensity of Internet use was measured in hours online per week.
Breadth of Internet use was measured by number of reported Internet activities in which the respondent engaged.
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