Nurses are increasingly engaging in consultations with parents who have obtained information online, which has implications for the authority, expertise and reputation of health practitioners. Dean-David Holyoake and Kerry Searle explain
In many countries, anxious adults and young people are increasingly searching the web for information about their health or ill health and that of their family. This activity often increases their anxiety and confusion. Cyberchondria refers to the resulting match with real or imagined symptoms, and may lead to unnecessary medical consultation. Advantages of online searching include knowledge, empowerment, autonomy and self-responsibility. Disadvantages are increased fears and possible misinformation and misdiagnosis and inappropriate self-treatment. There is also loss of placebo-style trust in, and concordance with, professionals, who may experience reduced confidence, authority and effectiveness. However, a new and more collaborative style of consultation has developed, with the practitioner confirming or refuting information rather than protecting it.
Nursing Children and Young People. 27, 5, 34-38. doi: 10.7748/ncyp.27.5.34.e600Correspondence
This article has been subject to open peer review and checked using antiplagiarism softwareConflict of interest
Received: 26 November 2014
Accepted: 01 April 2015
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