A new study suggests that patients increasingly look to the internet for both support and for health information, but do so in addition to traditional resources. The study found that patients are using the internet to connect with others who share their situations and to find information on health topics which they then share with their doctors. These patients still rely on traditional support structures, such as family, and their trust in their doctor is unaffected. Patients using online research bring the information to their doctors to ask questions and learn more, demonstrating a more active role in their own care.
Read more about the study at Medical News Today.
Other studies in the past few years have come up with similar results. You can read some of them on Pubmed:
- Lingering questions and doubts: online information-seeking of support forum members following their medical visits. [PMID: 21315538]
- Impact of internet use on health-related behaviors and the patient-physician relationship: a survey-based study and review. [PMID: 19075034]
- Informed citizen and empowered citizen in health: results from an European survey. [PMID: 21496309]