Many people today, whether providers or consumers of healthcare, often turn to the internet for medical advice. This ease of obtaining information is a mixed blessing because while there is plenty of relevant and helpful health-related information on the internet, many things may also go wrong and negatively impact health outcomes.
tailored to your instructions
for only $13.00 $11.05/page
To begin with, reliable and up-to-date medical websites can help healthcare providers and consumers research widely on different medical conditions and understand their causes. These online sources can also help health providers and consumers establish treatment plans and make educated decisions on the relevant interventions required (Manganello et al., 2017). Additionally, online health forums can provide support and comfort for people diagnosed with various ailments, such as chronic illnesses. According to Estacio et al. (2019), people with the same or related conditions often have many discussions concerning the ailments in these forums, which can help a person cope with the disease. Furthermore, the internet can facilitate the access of practice guidelines, test results, and expected outcomes in the examination room.
On the other hand, while most health providers may use information sourced online as intended, many consumers may find it difficult to fully understand various terms and applications used in these online sources. Moreover, not all online sources are relevant, trustworthy, and peer-reviewed to accurately cater to people’s health-related queries (Manganello et al., 2017). In this regard, misinformation or inaccurate diagnoses may occur, leading to adverse health outcomes. Similarly, even though online sources can be used to look up and provide diagnoses of various conditions and ailments, inaccurate self-diagnosis can also occur due to the distinct nature of different diseases and how uniquely they affect each individual.
Therefore, based on the concerns raised, it is vital that health professionals and practitioners are involved in designing and evaluating web-based medical and health material. Furthermore, more education and awareness campaigns should be conducted to help providers and consumers understand the negative and positive aspects of online health-related information.
Estacio, E. V., Whittle, R., & Protheroe, J. (2019). The digital divide: examining socio-demographic factors associated with health literacy, access, and internet use to seek health information. Journal of health psychology, 24(12), 1668-1675.
Manganello, J., Gerstner, G., Pergolino, K., Graham, Y., Falisi, A., & Strogatz, D. (2017). The relationship of health literacy with use of digital technology for health information: implications for public health practice. Journal of public health management and practice, 23(4), 380-387.