It is often claimed that medical and health information on the internet is of poor or at least dubious quality; that patients are overwhelmed by it and either get lost in a maze of information or even become hypochon driacs. Nevertheless, “Dr. Google” is more popular than ever. The Bertelsmann Stiftung has analyzed how patients obtain information online about health problems and illnesses with focus on the following questions:
- What do patients search for with Dr. Google, and why?
- How satisfied are patients with the results of searches?
- Which sources do patients use; which do they consider trustworthy?
- Does patient satisfaction with their physicians have an impact on their own research?
- What kind of reactions do patients who obtain prior health information online perceive from their physicians?
The results are reported in this Spotlight Healthcare.