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Medical advice on the Internet opens the door to a plethora of topics for the patient to discover. Healthcare information is some of the most searched for and most easily findable information available on the internet

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Introduction

Medical Advice on the Internet: Medical advice on the Internet opens the door to a plethora of topics for the patient to discover. Healthcare information is some of the most searched for and most easily findable information available on the internet. With greater knowledge of information from the internet helps to increase a patients compliance with chronic diseases and the fact that patient has access to more medical information aids the doctor in reviewing new treatments that might benefit a patient. Another advantage of medical advice being on the internet is that it is cost effective. Every time a patient sees there local doctor they have to pay a certain amount of money, even though there may not be something wrong with them. ...read more.

Middle

What is bad is that the proliferations of Web sites that advocate things are known to be useless or even harmful. Sites may offer vaccines or medications that may conflict with a patient's constitution or other medications, which could become life-threatening. Not only does this affect the patient but also creates a certain amount of grief for family members and friends. Lastly, some websites promote unhealthy and illness-related behaviours. There are numerous web sites run by anorexics or bulimics that post advice on how to continue being anorexic or bulimia. This is not much different than posting instructions on how to commit suicide and could be potentially dangerous for young teenagers that are to embarrassed to go see a psychiatrist and seek the internet for advice and refuge. ...read more.

Conclusion

To be surer of the reliability and the authenticity of the sites a patient should; (1) Ask the doctor to suggest sites that he/she thinks are well written or accurate, (2) Browse the medical professional organisations' web sites as they are specifically written for patients and families. The information that is contained on the website has been reviewed by members of the organisation for reliability and the sites are updated regularly for authentication reasons and to check if the integrity of the information remains. (3) Patients should check the website for the author's name, qualifications and the date when the page was last revised, revealing the source of financing for the site, including any potential conflicts of interest (like drug-company-financed sites), an explicitly-stated policy on privacy for site visitors, and an electronic means (which may be E-mail or a feedback form) for a visitor to contact the Webmaster. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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