To What Extent We can Trust 'Dr Google'?

by Mohamed Fathima S on  November 29, 2018 at 4:35 PM Lifestyle News
RSS Email Print This Page Comment bookmark
Font : A-A+

Usage, value and trust of 'Dr Google' will vary with different types of women who experience signs of breast cancer when making sense of their symptoms online, reveals a study presented in the journal Health, Risk and Society.
To What Extent We can Trust 'Dr Google'?
To What Extent We can Trust 'Dr Google'?

Researchers from the University of Surrey, led by Dr Afrodita Marcu, investigated whether women sought health information online when experiencing potential breast cancer symptoms and, if so, whether they found it useful. Interviewing 27 women, aged between 47 and 67 years old, researchers found different levels of engagement with the internet for health information that were driven by a range of attitudes and levels of trust.

Some women, particularly those with no formal educational qualifications or with fewer than two O levels, were found to be less positive about the usefulness of 'Dr Google' and were largely against using the internet for health information, claiming that this could lead to misdiagnosis or to unnecessary worry about what their symptoms might mean.

Researchers also found that women, although open to using the internet for health information, reported feeling overwhelmed by what they found and became reluctant to conduct further searches. The majority of women who experienced such feelings went to see their GP, mostly because they felt that only a health care professional could resolve concerns about their symptoms and provide appropriate answers.

Other women in the study were however confident in looking up information online about their breast changes and used it to interpret and act upon their symptoms. These women did not view online health information as problematic nor did they express mistrust in 'Dr Google.' Some even supplemented the information received from the GP by further investigations on the internet.

Dr Afrodita Marcu, Research Fellow at the University of Surrey, said: "The internet is a valuable source of medical information. However, it also contains a lot of poor quality information, or information which cannot be easily interpreted by lay people or applied to an individual situation, so it is not surprising that some people feel they cannot trust it.

"The way that a person will capitalize on the internet for health purposes depends on many factors, like the nature of their symptoms or their fear about coming across misleading information, so we should not assume that 'Dr Google' is valuable and credible to all".



Source: Eurekalert

Post a Comment

Comments should be on the topic and should not be abusive. The editorial team reserves the right to review and moderate the comments posted on the site.
Notify me when reply is posted
I agree to the terms and conditions
Advertisement

News A - Z

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

News Search

Medindia Newsletters

Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

Find a Doctor

Stay Connected

  • Available on the Android Market
  • Available on the App Store

News Category

News Archive