Just half of adults with chronic conditions use the Internet; but once online, they are avid consumers of health information. Monday, October 8, 2007NPR correspondent Joseph Shapiro reported on the recent Pew Report (Morning Edition, October 11, 2007) Patients Turn to the Internet for Health Information.
In addition to the PEW report concerning the medical searching behavior of people with disabilities and chronic conditions, another recent experiment involved the online research behavior of cancer patients. One group had print materials, one group was directed to good medical information on the Internet and the third group had undirected access to the Internet. Not everyone did well finding reliable medical information online, but in conclusion, the health professional vetted medical systems, such as those recommended by the Medical Library Association continued to be utilized by patients, and helped them become better informed. These users are likely more willing to ask their physicians questions and take more responsibility in the medical decision making process.
There are many informative medical information sites. A good entry point to advise medical consumers to utilize are the sites recommended and evaluated by the Medical Library Association.
Check out the Medical Consumer Recommendations of your Medical Librarians.