Patients Who Consult Web Not Motivated by Mistrust of Physicians

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Most patients look up online health information to learn more about medical conditions, not because they mistrust their doctors, according to a study published in the Journal of Health Communication, Medical News Today reports.


Xinyi Hu, co-author of the study, said, “We found that mistrust was not a significant predictor of people going online for health information prior to their visit” (Rattue, Medical News Today, 7/12).


Researchers found that patients were more likely to look for health information online if they:


Believed their medical conditions were long-term;


Felt they had some degree of personal control over their illness; or


Were distressed about their medical condition.


Researchers also found that:


70% of study participants said they planned to ask their doctor questions about information found online;


More than 50% planned to make a request of their doctor based on information found online; and


40% printed information from the Internet to bring to their doctor’s appointment (Beaulieu, FiercePracticeManagement, 7/10).


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