Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Internet Complicates Doctor-Patient Relationships, Spanish Researchers Find

Date:
September 3, 2009
Source:
Plataforma SINC
Summary:
Patients who ask their doctor about information they have read on the Internet, or webs that better inform them of their diagnosis, are no longer a rarity. A study undertaken by Spanish researchers reveals the advantages and disadvantages of online medical enquiries. Some 31% of doctors believe that the Internet complicates their relationship with patients and undermines their credibility.

Over 40% of the Spanish surf the Internet for health information.
Credit: Image courtesy of Plataforma SINC

Patients who ask their doctor about information they have read on the Internet, or webs that better inform them of their diagnosis, are no longer a rarity. A study undertaken by Spanish researchers reveals the advantages and disadvantages of online medical enquiries. Some 31% of doctors believe that the Internet complicates their relationship with patients and undermines their credibility.

Health information on the Internet is changing the relationship between doctors and patients. "Although the e-patient is a new phenomenon that is growing exponentially, very few studies analyse it from a doctor's point of view," José Joaquín Mira, main author of the working paper published recently in the journal entitled Atención Primaria (Primary Health Care in English) and a researcher at Miguel Hernández University explained to SINC.

As a result, the researchers analysed the opinion of 660 doctors who all work for the Spanish National Health System (330 in primary health care and 330 in hospitals) in the provinces of Alicante, Madrid, Zaragoza and Huesca. Results show that 96% of the doctors surveyed have been questioned by their patients about information they have read on the Internet. Furthermore, almost three out of every 10 professionals recommend websites to their patients.

The doctors who work in hospitals devote more time to the Internet, take more advantage of resident training resources and cooperate more with specific websites than their primary health care counterparts. But opinions coincide when the influence of the Internet on their relationship with patients is analysed. According to 31% of doctors, Internet complicates their relationship with patients and undermines their credibility.

As regards the advantages that the Internet provides to the people who go to the doctor, the first (42%) is that it helps patients to learn about their illness. However, only 20% of the doctors surveyed said that the Internet increased patient independence. "All the specialists agree that they do not believe the Internet favours patient independence". Moreover, many believe it can undermine the credibility of doctors. As a result, doctors do not normally suggest websites to their patients for complementary information, Mira clarifies.

E-Health Challenges

E-health encompasses all health care based on information and communication technologies, such as electronic medical records, telemedicine (physical and psychological tests which do not require the physical presence of the patient), information dissemination and online health care teams (professionals who cooperate and share information about patients using digital equipment).

"More than 40% of the Spanish population is estimated to browse the Internet in search of information about health", the researcher from the university in Alicante said. Mira states that despite being one of the most active areas of innovation and with great prospects for the future, "it also poses new unanswered questions and very few studies have been carried out to date."

Initiatives such as the recent press statement released by the European Commission regarding the Telemedicine Action Plan, which promotes coordination among countries, or the e-health scheme proposed by the Barack Obama government in the United States are a clear indication of how important these technologies are when it comes to facing the challenges of the health system.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Plataforma SINC. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Plataforma SINC. "Internet Complicates Doctor-Patient Relationships, Spanish Researchers Find." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 September 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090901082711.htm>.
Plataforma SINC. (2009, September 3). Internet Complicates Doctor-Patient Relationships, Spanish Researchers Find. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090901082711.htm
Plataforma SINC. "Internet Complicates Doctor-Patient Relationships, Spanish Researchers Find." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090901082711.htm (accessed August 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

Killer Amoeba Found in Louisiana Water System

AP (Aug. 28, 2014) — State health officials say testing has confirmed the presence of a killer amoeba in a water system serving three St. John the Baptist Parish towns. (Aug. 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Who Could Be Burnt by WHO's E-Cigs Move?

Reuters - Business Video Online (Aug. 28, 2014) — The World Health Organisation has called for the regulation of electronic cigarettes as both tobacco and medical products. Ciara Lee looks at the impact of the move on the tobacco industry. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

CDC Director On Ebola Outbreak: 'It's Worse Than I Feared'

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) — CDC director Tom Frieden says the Ebola outbreak is even worse than he feared. But he also said there's still hope to contain it. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How A 'Rule Of Thumb' Could Slow Down Drinking

How A 'Rule Of Thumb' Could Slow Down Drinking

Newsy (Aug. 28, 2014) — A study suggests people who follow a "rule of thumb" when pouring wine dispense less than those who don't have a particular amount in mind. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins