A recent New York Times article reports an emerging trend of both adults and children using the Internet to "diagnose" their medical problems.
According to a Consumer Reports study, 41% of primary-care physicians reported patients coming to office visits with incorrect health information found on the Internet. Dr. J. James Rohack, an American Medical Association board member, recommends the following trustworthy and free sites for medical information:
A number of studies have shown that many children and teens are turning to the Internet to find medical information, particularly on the topic of sexual health:
- Suzuki, L.K. and Calzo, J.P. (2004) "The search for peer advice in cyberspace: An examination of online teen bulletin boards about health and sexuality". Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology.
- Skinner, H.A. et al. (2003) "How adolescents use technology for health information: Implications for health professionals from focus group studies". Journal of Medical Internet Research.
- Richardson, C.R. et al. (2002) "Does pornography-blocking software block access to health information on the Internet?" Journal of the American Medical Association.