Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Health Outcomes and Policy Research



Research Advisor

Song Hee Hong, Ph.D.


Carolyn Graff, Ph.D. Mehmet Kocak, Ph.D. Robert J. Nolly, M.S. David Solomon, Pharm.D.


Medication, Older Adults, Online, Outcomes, Rating, Self-Reported


The Internet is a powerful and very popular vehicle for distributing judgment-free health information to patients. Multiple studies have examined the role of online health information as well as physician-rating websites in health care. Studies have examined the value of online drug information for patients and the value of the online drug information for patients. However, no study has examined the usefulness or value of online medication rating websites in facilitating physician-patient communication or participant-reported outcomes. In this study, the value of online medication rating websites to older adults in facilitating communication with their physicians using a newly developed tool was assessed. Additionally, the participant-reported outcomes of quality of life, satisfaction with physician communication, beliefs about medications, and medication adherence plus the relationship between the older adults’ actual ratings of their antihypertensive medications and their self-reported outcomes were examined. Older adults with poor quality of life were more likely to view the online medication rating websites more favorably than participants who enjoy good quality of life. Participants who liked to share health decisions with their physicians were also more likely to have favorable views of the online websites. In addition, older adults with hypertension, who highly rated their antihypertensive medication regimens, were more likely to have good physical quality of life, high satisfaction with physician communication, positive beliefs about medications, and high medication adherence. Older adults with poor quality of life were more likely to be unsatisfied with their antihypertensive medications, have multiple comorbidities, limited health literacy, low satisfaction with their communication with their physicians, take multiple medications, and were more likely to view online medication rating websites favorably compared to their counterparts with good quality of life. Online medication rating websites may play an important role in enhancing physician-patient communication particularly among this segment of the patient population.