65 percent Brits are cyberchondriacs

November 21st, 2007 - 4:52 pm ICT by admin  

London, Nov 21 (ANI): What do the British do when they are unwell? No, they dont call for a doctor. Instead they diagnose their illnesses on the Internet.

A new research has found that Britain has become a nation of cyberchondriacs, who identify their diseases on the web, with 65 per cent admitting using the web instead of visiting the doctor.

The study also showed that three-quarters of Brits use websites to explore symptoms before deciding what treatment to seek.

The study, by natural food retailers Julian Graves, found that almost half check Internet forums to make out if anyone else is suffering similar symptoms.

Researchers also discovered that more than 46 per cent of people have been so sure about their self-diagnosis that they have gone to a pharmacist to ask for creams or tablets to treat the disease.

While some information from reliable Internet sites may be helpful, patients should consult their doctor if they have concerns about their health and require advice or treatment, the Daily Express quoted a spokesman for the British Medical Association, as saying.

However, the study showed that self-diagnosis from the Internet was hardly accurate, with 15 per cent owning up to being seldom right with their online detective work.

A third of those polled have ended up distressing unnecessarily because they have misdiagnosed symptoms, while 22 per cent lost sleep thinking they were suffering from something serious.

Nine per cent admitted they did not go to a doctor because they were embarrassed, 35 per cent said they simply had not got time and a quarter went online because they did not want to trouble their GP.

Almost one in 10 considered themselves fixated with searching for their symptoms and illnesses through the web.

Its amazing how many people are prepared to self-diagnose online and try to treat themselves without seeing a doctorm, Alison Miles, of Julian Graves, said.

This could be a reflection of our fast-paced lifestyles or a growing belief that you can sort everything out yourself online, he added. (ANI)

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