More and more people today are using internet to learn and share health problems - a remarkable shift that has gained momentum in the last decade, new research has found.
People want more than just information online, they also seek reflections, insights and practical advice from other patients.
Professor Sue Ziebland and colleagues at the University of Oxford examined interviews with patients conducted between 2001 and 2013 and explored how people talked about the internet - capturing changing attitudes towards the use of internet for health. Professor Ziebland also presented an ePlenary session "How the internet is transforming health experiences: reflections from a decade of qualitative research on experiences of cancer, chronic illness, infertility and bereavement" at this week's South West Society for Primary Care Annual Conference in Bristol.
The web has now become an almost routine part of many people's experience of health and illness. The internet has transformed how people make sense of and respond to symptoms, decide whether to consult, make treatment choice, cope with their illness and connect with others.
- Professor Sue Ziebland, Nuffield Department of Primary Care Health Sciences, University of Oxford