Discussing Health Issues on the Internet

Discussing Health Issues on the Internet

Jane Moon (Monash University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-050-9.ch007
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Abstract

This article provides an overview of the trend in Internet usage; in particular, the trend that relates particularly to health-information-seeking behavior. It discusses a paradigm shift in patientdoctor relationships that has resulted from social changes; that is, lack of consultation time, thirst for medical knowledge, mass-media medical information and an explosion in the number of health Web sites. The Internet has become an important medium for bridging the gap in the patient-doctor relationship. Issues of Internet quality are explored. While the Internet can help consumers by providing immediate feedback as far as treatment and medication are concerned, without proper standards and quality assurance it can give rise to diabolical consequences (Crocco, Villasis-Keever, & Jadad, 2002). Ciolek describes information on the Internet as mediocre and argues that health information on the Internet is subject to “Multi Media Mediocrity” (MMM) (Ciolek, 1997).

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