Impact of internet on doctor-patient relationship
Keywords:Internet, Health care, Attitude, Self medication
Background: Widespread use of internet as a source of health information has an effect on health-related knowledge, attitude and practices of general population as well as doctor-patient relationship. This study has been planned to see perception of doctors about patients who take medical information by internet search. The objective of the study was to assess impact of internet on doctor-patient relationship among doctors of tertiary health care centre.
Methods: After ethical approval a questionnaire based cross sectional study was conducted among teachers of a tertiary care hospital. Questionnaire was categorized in the two groups: i) negative impact of internet (14), ii) positive impact of internet (11), total= 25 statements, rated on Likert scale. Medical teachers who are involved in treating patients were included (n=54). Data was analysed using mean score and standard deviation for each item.
Results: Most of the doctors opined that use of internet as a source of information has affected doctor-patient relationship (mean 4.35 SD 0.48) and that they were now questioned by already well-informed patients (4.76 SD 0.43). Google search by patients may results in misguided self-treatment or wrong diagnosis (mean 4.85 SD 0.36).
Conclusions: Doctors were agreed that patients are still having same faith on doctors in spite of doing google search on medical information.
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