Health Information On The Internet

Decent Essays
Introduction Over the last decade, health information available on the internet has expanded at astronomical rates (Dy et al., 2012). With this increase in available online information, it comes as no surprise that over 110 million people in the United States searched for health information online in 2002 (Wald and Anthony, 2007). On top of this, 48.6% of patients look for medical information online before they contact a health care provider (HCP) for information or a medical appointment (Anderson and Klemm, 2008). It was also found that in Britain that over 75% of patients present health information they found online to their doctors (Wald and Anthony, 2007). One main advantage of the internet for both patients and HCPs is that information on the internet can be accessed at any time (Anderson and Klemm, 2008). Because of this advantage for patient education, many HCPs are now starting to incorporate online information into the treatment plans for their patients (Dy et al., 2012). Educating patients is not an easy task as everyone learns differently and in many cases, information can be misunderstood. As patient health and safety in many cases is influenced by online information, such as when patient look for information on diseases and treatments, HCPs need to be able to effectively educate patients on which information on the internet is helpful and correct and which is not (Anderson and Klemm, 2008). While there can be many advantages to using the
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