The research was partly based on the findings of a previous study, which analyzed the internet usage among more than 3000 Americans. The researchers also conducted their own interview to collect more data.
It was found that majority of online users browse for reviews about health care providers; seek advice on health information sites and other users' experience with treatment options.
Almost one third of them used social networking site to gather information.
People who look for information from other users often fail to post their own reviews or comments. Only 15% of them posted their views about health issues.
The authors suggest that if more people come forward to discuss health topics it would be beneficial to both doctors and users. It could create more awareness about the concerns of patients.
Internet definitely cannot replace a physician's advice and one must not reply internet and self-diagnose. However, sharing the opinions can give an idea about health conditions and possible points to be discussed with the doctor.