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Internet, intrus ou médiateur dans la relations médecine-patient?

Abstract : The increasingly popular practice of consulting the Internet on health issues has led to much commentary and concern in medical circles. Some observers believe that the proliferation of unstructured and non-validated information is a source of confusion which is likely to erode patients' confidence in their physicians. The literature on the subject tends to shift the emphasis of the question, pointing out that there is no agreed-upon method for measuring the quality of the information available. Moreover, and notably, it puts the significance of the issue in perspective, pointing out that the collective nature of the content produced online and of the consultations made, as well as the discernment shown by individuals, compensate for the potential effects of any lack of quality in the information found. Rather than creating conflict, this trend appears to be leading patients to seek a greater level of cooperation with their physicians, and healthcare professionals are adjusting to these better-informed patients, who, consequently, are more receptive to arguments and take greater responsibility for their behaviour. The Internet could be considered as a facilitator of the physicianpatient relationship. This should be qualified, however, when it comes to rare or little known health problems, or those for which medical intervention is controversial. The Internet provides a form of lay person's expertise which competes with or is in conflict with the expertise of physicians, whether at the individual level or, more markedly, at the level of healthcare decision-making bodies which have become more open to user representatives, in the context of more democratic healthcare.
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Contributor : Madeleine Akrich <>
Submitted on : Monday, April 16, 2012 - 4:04:33 PM
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Madeleine Akrich, Cécile Méadel. Internet, intrus ou médiateur dans la relations médecine-patient?. Santé, science et solidarité, 2009, 8 (2), pp.87-92. ⟨hal-00397183⟩

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