Virtually healthy: The impact of internet use on disease experience and the doctor-patient relationship

Broom, Alex (2005) Virtually healthy: The impact of internet use on disease experience and the doctor-patient relationship. Qualitative Health Research, 15 3: 325-345. doi:10.1177/1049732304272916


Author Broom, Alex
Title Virtually healthy: The impact of internet use on disease experience and the doctor-patient relationship
Formatted title
Virtually he@lthy: The impact of internet use on disease experience and the doctor-patient relationship
Journal name Qualitative Health Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1049-7323
1552-7557
Publication date 2005-03-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1177/1049732304272916
Volume 15
Issue 3
Start page 325
End page 345
Total pages 21
Place of publication London, United Kingdom
Publisher Sage Publications
Language eng
Abstract In the current study, the author explores the complex effects and contradictory roles of the Internet as a source of empowerment and control, and as a site of “risk management.” Drawing on a study of the Internet usage of Australian men with prostate cancer, the author investigates how access to information and online support affects men’s experiences of disease and, in particular, the possible implications of Internet-informed patients for the doctor-patient relationship. The data reveal that accessing information and/or support online can have a profound effect on men’s experiences of prostate cancer, providing a method of taking some control over their disease and limiting inhibitions experienced in face-to-face encounters. However, it is also clear that some medical specialists view Internet-informed patients as a challenge to their power within medical encounters and, as a result, employ disciplinary strategies that reinforce traditional patient roles and alienate patients who use the Internet.
Keyword Internet
Prostate cancer
Online support
Risk
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collection: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences - Publications
 
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Created: Sun, 07 Aug 2011, 21:25:30 EST by Rachel Smith on behalf of Faculty of Social & Behavioural Sciences