Online Program

Doctor as the second opinion, and the internet as the first

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 3:10 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Lisa Gualtieri, PhD, ScM, Department of Public Health and Community Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA
Many factors influence the medical decisions patients make about disease screenings, immunizations, and medical procedures, including fear, cost, clinical guidelines and recommendations. In recent years, health messages on the web, online patient communities, social media, web apps, and celebrity news, such as Angelina Jolie's well-publicized decision to have a preventive double mastectomy, have also been influencing the way that's patients learn about and make their decisions to have medical specific procedures. Web 2.0 and social media provides consumers with a wide array of opportunities to search for health and medical information, and have been increasingly empowering patients in their discussion with their clinicians. As the paternalistic paradigm of healthcare is being transformed by shared decision making between patients and providers, using the Internet, or Dr. Google, as a first opinion can be problematic due to misinformation and misinterpretation of valid risk-benefit information that patients are being exposed to, especially those with poor health literacy skills. Human-computer interaction professionals are starting to collaborate with the medical community in ensuring that credible health web and social media sites become the gold standard that patients use in understanding more about their health. We will examine some examples of medical decision-making, including the Choosing Wisely campaign and a study of lipid screening and treatment strategies for adolescents with high cholesterol, and learn about how these studies and programs are taking into account the influences from the media and the Internet on patients, in order to provide more effective guidance to healthcare consumers.

Learning Areas:

Chronic disease management and prevention
Communication and informatics

Learning Objectives:
Assess how Web 2.0, social media, and online communities are influencing risk communication and medical decision making between patients and providers.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I conduct research in this area and teach courses at Tufts University School of Medicine related to this area. Furthermore, I am a consultant on a PCORI grant on medical decision making.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.