The internet—A useful communication tool but no replacement for the doctor-patient relationship

2001 ◽  
Vol 120 (5) ◽  
pp. A735-A735
P TSAI ◽  
2001 ◽  
Vol 120 (5) ◽  
pp. A735
Christopher G. Streets ◽  
Jeffrey H. Peters ◽  
Duff M. Bruce ◽  
Peter I. Tsai ◽  
Nagammapudur S. Balaji ◽  

2020 ◽  
Vol 28 (3) ◽  
pp. 502-525
Ian R Freckelton

Abstract The ubiquitous access by patients to online information about health issues is disrupting the traditional doctor–patient relationship in fundamental ways. The knowledge imbalance has shifted and the last nails are being hammered into the coffin of medical paternalism. Ready access to Dr Google has many positive aspects but the risk of undiscerning acceptance by patients of unscientific, out-of-date or biased information for their decision-making remains. In turn this may feed into the content of the legal duty of care for doctors and contribute to a need for them to inquire sensitively into the sources of information that may be generating surprising or apparently illogical patient treatment choices. In addition, patients, those related to patients, and others have the potential to publish on the Internet incorrect and harmful information about doctors. A number of influential decisions by courts have now established the legitimacy of medical practitioners taking legal proceedings for defamation and injunctive relief to stop vituperative and vindictive online publications that are harming them personally, reputationally and commercially. Furthermore, disciplinary accountability has been imposed on doctors for intemperate, disrespectful online postings. All of these factors are contributing to a disruptive recalibration of the dynamics between doctors and their patients.

Lupus ◽  
2021 ◽  
pp. 096120332110103
Paul J Tejada-Llacsa ◽  
Pamela Villacorta-Landeo ◽  
Eder Aguilar-Buitrón ◽  
Graciela S Alarcón ◽  
Manuel F Ugarte-Gil

Background/Objective Information available on the internet about Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) can influence the doctor-patient relationship. Therefore, the aim of this study was to identify the terms used for SLE on the internet. Methods We analyzed the data downloaded from Google Trends, considering the term “Lupus” in a six-year web-based research. The frequency of the terms for each Pan-American country was obtained automatically from Google Trends, which reports relative search volumes or RSV (on a scale from 0 to 100) across regions. Results We obtained a total of 67 registered terms in 18 countries. The terms were distributed into five categories. The categories with interest in all countries were “definition” and “symptoms”. Conclusions Google Trends allows us to find useful information about SLE on the internet; once the accuracy of this information is validated, it can be used by patients, health institutions, rheumatologists and other health professionals.

2019 ◽  
Vol 35 (02) ◽  
pp. 210-213
Eugene Kern ◽  
Oren Friedman

AbstractThe dynamics of the doctor–patient relationship has been complicated as more patients seem to expect perfection in this age of selfies and Internet postings. The preoperative patient interview is critical to recognize both body language clues and subtle but apparent red flags to avoid rhinoplasty on potentially unhappy patients. This interview should include routine use of a body dysmorphic disorder screening questionnaire since legions of these patients are undiagnosed prior to surgery and few, if any, are ever satisfied with even an excellent surgical result. These patients need diagnosis and psychological intervention—not surgery. Rapport is critical to patient and surgeon's satisfaction; therefore, it is valuable to practice the ABC's of rapport building: 1) active listening, (2) positive body language, and (3) candor.

2018 ◽  
Vol 64 (8) ◽  
pp. 692-699 ◽  
Luciana Rodrigues Alves da Mota ◽  
Carolina Cavalcanti Gonçalves Ferreira ◽  
Henrique Augusto Alves da Costa Neto ◽  
Ana Rodrigues Falbo ◽  
Suélem de Barros Lorena

SUMMARY OBJECTIVES To analyse the opinions and attitudes reported by medical specialists regarding online health information and their interference in the doctor-patient relationship. Methods A cross-sectional study developed between 2016 and 2017 in Recife-Pernambuco-Brazil, which used a questionnaire in person in a population of 183 specialists from the Instituto de Medicina Integral Prof. Fernando Figueira. The results were analysed through the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences. Obtained approval of the Ethics Committee under the voucher number 121004/2016. Results In the opinion of 85.2% of physicians, online health information has both positive and negative impacts on the physician-patient relationship. Faced with a questioning patient who claims to have researched information on the internet, 98.9% of the physicians said they would try to explain the reasons for their diagnosis and treatment. 59% already had a patient who modified the treatment recommended after seeing health information on the Internet. 73.8% agreed that online health information has positive effects for the general public, but 89.1% feel that most patients do not know which online health information is reliable CONCLUSION The physicians surveyed view online health information in a positive way, but realize that it is necessary to be cautious as to their repercussions on the treatment of patients. There is concern about the accuracy of online health information, and it is incumbent upon the physician and health institutions to instruct patients about the sources of quality and that they are able to understand, as its known the patients have an active voice through the guarantee of the ethical principle of autonomy.

Rachna Shekhar ◽  
Sandhya Rani Javalkar

Background: The Internet has proven to be a powerful vehicle for the dissemination of information and the use of Internet by the patients as a source of information on health and disease is increasing rapidly. It has reformed the doctor-patient relationship by empowering patients with information. The objective was to study the trends of patient’s health information seeking behaviour on the internet and its effects on the doctor-patient relationship.Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted amongst the 73 doctors and 110 patients attending the tertiary health care centre, Davanagere. A pre-tested and pre-validated questionnaire was used to collect data. Percentages and Proportions were used to summarize the study variables.Results: The most common search engine used was Google i.e. 92% and majority of them looked up symptoms/ disease condition 80%. 57% respondents verified doctor’s advice. 73% respondents stated that they used online health information for self-diagnosis but less than 10% of respondents took medications mentioned online. The doctors (60%) stated that the patient’s Internet use proves that the patient or his/her family are involved and take responsibility. However, 49.3% of doctors stated that they get uncomfortable when presented with online health information by the patients.Conclusions: Doctors are starting to recognize the use of the internet by patients as a source of health information. Patients consider the internet as a supplementary resource for better understanding of symptoms and diagnosis. The need of the hour is better communication between doctor and patients; and availability of reliable web-based health resources to patients for better compliance.

2019 ◽  
pp. 127-135
Janina Wiertlewska

The following paper deals with the issues of doctor’s image in the doctor-patient relationship in the Internet era and the influence of Internet on patient’s compliance. Both positive and negative standpoints have been discussed briefly, followed by a description of a research model proposed by Laugesen, Hassanein and Yufei (2015) applicable for this type of study. The study examines the impact of patients’ use of Internet health information on various elements of patient-doctor relation (including compliance) through a theoretical model based on principal-agent theory as well as the information asymmetry perspective. A pilot survey and interview study performed on one Polish doctor and a group of his patients, a specialist in Family Medicine has been described. The study carried out by three coworkers: Laugesen, Hassanein and Yufei (2015) revealed that patient-doctor concordance and perceived information asymmetry have relevant effects on patient’s compliance while patient-doctor concordance reveals a stronger relationship. The final conclusions were such that only doctor’s quality had a significant influence on the information asymmetry; the Internet health information gathered by a patient had no impact on perceived information asymmetry; the pilot study performed on the Polish physician confirms the theses presented in this paper but further investigations concerning the formerly discussed issues should be done.

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