Study : Should patients google for questions or not?

There are several times when patients use the internet search engine to find answers to some health problems they have. On the other hand, doctors advise patients not to search the internet to diagnose their symptoms because they may become confused or even panic unnecessarily.

But a new study coming from America has concluded that many patients make particularly good self-diagnoses about their condition thanks to the help of Google and other search engines available on the internet. Also according to the research, it says that the specific diagnoses that patients make on their own do not seem to increase their anxiety.

Researchers at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, who published the study in the American medical journal JAMA Network Open, studied 5,000 people who were asked to search the internet to diagnose themselves for various mild to severe symptoms they were supposed to have with relatives.

It was found that after the online search participants were slightly better at correctly diagnose their medical incident, without necessarily feeling any increased concern from what they learned thanks to “Dr. Google”.

“I have patients, all the time, who for the only reason they come to my practice is because they searched Google for something and the internet told them they have cancer. So one wonders how much cyber-hypochondria the internet creates. Our study, however, shows that it’s okay to tell his patients “google it.” There is not going to be any particular problem with this and something good can come up,” dr. Levine said.


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