Online health information may mitigate trust in doctors

Prompt treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs is needed to help prevent life-threatening complications such as ane

By Zee Media Bureau | Last Updated: May 04, 2017, 17:20 PM IST
Online health information may mitigate trust in doctors
Representational image

New Delhi: As per a new study, searching health related information on the internet can reduce trust in doctors.

Researchers from Hofstra Northwell School of Medicine in the US recruited 1,374 parent participants who were presented with a profile of a child who "has had a rash and worsening fever for 3 days."

The participants, who averaged 34 years of age and had at least one child under age 18, were then divided into groups.

In the first group, participants received screen shots of internet information describing some symptoms of scarlet fever, an infectious disease linked to Strep throat that causes rash and fever.

Unless treated with antibiotics, scarlet fever can develop into rheumatic fever and, in some cases, lead to heart damage.

The second group of participants received screen shots listing select symptoms of Kawasaki disease, a condition in which blood vessels throughout the body become inflamed. It also is accompanied by fever and rash.

Prompt treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs is needed to help prevent life-threatening complications such as aneurisms.

A third set of parents, the control group, received no internet screen shots. All participants then read that the doctor had diagnosed the child with scarlet fever.

(With PTI inputs)