Cyberchondria, Health Literacy, and the Role of Media on Society’s Perception of Medical Information
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Cyberchondria, Health Literacy, and the Role of Media on Society’s Perception of Medical Information

Hacer AKER (Selcuk University, Turkey) and Mary Aiken (University of East London, UK)
Pages: 300|DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8630-3
ISBN13: 9781799886303|ISBN10: 1799886301|EISBN13: 9781799886327|ISBN13 Softcover: 9781799886310
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Description

Cyberchondria has been defined as searching for health-related information online in an excessive or repetitive way that is driven by the need to reduce distress or anxiety about health, but results in worsening outcomes. Although this is a form of a relaxing behavior; those with cyberchondria find their anxiety increased due to new pathologies that they discover and trigger their anxiety, rather than getting support through online interactions. These repetitive calls to alleviate health-related anxiety cause the anxiety to worsen. Cyberchondria can be associated with difficulty distinguishing between reliable and unreliable online sources of information. This condition, the level of education of the individual, of information processing can also affect ability and technological knowledge. Information on the internet, whose source and level of evidence are questionable, can lead to a loss of confidence in modern medicine. An example of this is currently observed in the form of vaccine rejection. Possible differences in the practices experienced during the purchase of health services with what individuals read from the internet can cause a sense of dissatisfaction. This feeling also causes individuals to try to make more use of health care and increases health-related labor and costs.

This book addresses the concept of cyberchondria through an interdisciplinary approach. This initiative, which combines social humanities and science on a horizontal plane, allows the meeting of different perspectives on the concept of cyberchondria at the international level. Digital literacy, health literacy, excessive internet use, anxiety disorder, disease of illness, and more concepts will be examined. This book is also important in identifying changes in anxiety levels and safety behaviors in the age of Covid-19. In this regard, this book will contribute to research, industry, and today's medical world.

Table of Contents and List of Contributors

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