Patients look up their illnesses online to become better informed and prepared to play an active role in their care – not because they mistrust their doctors, a new University of California, Davis, study suggests.
The study surveyed more than 500 people who were members of online support groups and had scheduled appointments with a physician.
“We found that mistrust was not a significant predictor of people going online for health information prior to their visit,” said Xinyi Hu, who co-authored the study as part of her master’s thesis in communication. “This was somewhat surprising and suggests that doctors need not be defensive when their patients come to their appointments armed with information taken from the Internet.”
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