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Year : 2022  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 109-113

Influence of internet health information on patient compliance in dermatology: A survey

Department of Dermatology, Shree Krishna Hospital, Karamsad, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Pragya Ashok Nair
Department of Dermatology, Shree Krishna Hospital, Pramukhswami Medical College, Karamsad - 388 325, Gujarat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/cdr.cdr_26_21

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Background: Many patients use the Internet to self-diagnose and find treatment options, thus avoiding the need to visit a doctor in person. Objectives: This study was done with the primary objective to determine how Internet health information impacts the patient–physician relationship, compliance, and its effect on patient treatment. Materials and Methods: It was a cross-sectional study, done at the Department of Dermatology, Venereology, and Leprosy, over a period of 6 months from January to June 2019. All patients with any dermatological diseases above the age of 12 years, who conducted an Internet search for the disease were included in the study. Participants were provided with an information sheet, outlining the details of the study. They were asked to fill out a questionnaire in their vernacular language. The questionnaire had questions about the patient's perspective toward his health as well as the doctor's advice before and after Internet usage. Descriptive analysis was used for statistical analysis. Results: A total of 110 patients were included in the study with 56.36% of males and 34.54% between 21 and 40 years of age group. Wikipedia was used by 51.81% of participants, followed by 40% who used Google. After Internet use, participants strongly agree that doctors possess more information than the information on Internet in 39.09%, while 61.81% of participants believe that there is good communication between doctor and patient. After Internet use, a maximum of 48.18% agree and followed the doctor's recommended medication. Conclusion: Online medical information has a positive effect on patient disease status and on patients' relationships with their physicians. Doctors should be more aware of the health information available online and should be able to guide patients to accurate and reliable websites.

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