Some Assembly Required

White, Ryen, and Eric Horvitz. “Cyberchondria: Studies of the Escalation of Medical Concerns in Web Search.” ACM Transactions on Information Systems (TOIS) 27: n. pag. Web.

Studies have been conducted to show that 80% of Americans use the internet to find health information.

White, Ryen. “Experiences with Web Search on Medical Concerns and Self Diagnosis.” .N.p., n.d. Web. 31 July 2014. <>.

Cyberchondria is being in constant anxiety about illnesses you believe you have that are all in your mind. Cyberchondriacs use the internet to find health information online to fuel this condition.

McElroy, Eoin, and Mark Shevlin. “The Development and Initial Validation of the Cyberchondria Severity Scale (CSS).” Journal of Anxiety Disorders: n. pag. Web. 31 July 2014.

The internet can seem like an easy and convenient place to find health information, however it isn’t personal, and thus a self-diagnosis conducted online would be inaccurate.

Gafni, Amiram. “The physician–patient encounter: The physician as a perfect agent for the patient versus the informed treatment decision-making model.” Social Science & Medicine: 347-354. Web. 29 July 2014.

In reference to why doctors should be privileged, rather than conducting a self-diagnosis using the internet:

They are also experienced and have a medical degree and can be sure of their diagnosis because they can back it up with medical evidence.

Cline, R. J. W., and K.M. Haynes. “Consumer health information seeking on the Internet: the state of the art.” Health Education Research: 671-692. Web. 1 Aug. 2014.

Many people question the quality of medical information found online, and research conducted on this topic reports that the majority of it is inaccurate.


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