Diary of Unknown Symptoms

Mystery of the Internal Vibration

Entry for June 09, 2006


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More people consult Google over health
By Nigel Hawkes, Health Editor

GOOGLE, the internet search engine, has now become one of the patient’s best friends, second only to the family doctor. A survey of 1,000 people found that 12 per cent turn first to Google. Fewer consult family and friends, the media or medical encyclopaedias when faced with a medical problem.

The internet is consulted by 21 per cent as the first port of call. Some use search engines other than Google and some log on directly to other websites.

Although more — 52 per cent — would see a GP first, the survey shows how important the internet is in informing patients. Friends and family, a traditional source of guidance, were cited by 10 per cent.

Most Googlers believe that the information they find is accurate. While 94 per cent trust their GP, nearly as many (86 per cent) believe that what they find from a Google search is accurate.

The survey was carried out by ICM Healthcare for Core-Create, a design company that specialises in visual communications for healthcare clients.

Although the Department of Health has tried to create a new breed of “expert patients”, 60 per cent of GPs said that self-diagnosis wasted their time — either by slowing down consultations or because patients convince themselves that they have a condition that they do not have.

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June 11, 2006 - Posted by | Health | , ,

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