The impact of CyberHealthcare on the physician-patient relationship

J Med Syst. 2003 Feb;27(1):67-84. doi: 10.1023/a:1021061229743.


It is estimated that 70 million Americans have used the Internet to acquire health-related information. Multiple factors provide the driving force behind this demand for online health information. Information technology is beginning to change the exclusive focus of medicine from curing disease to prevention of disease and enhancing health status. A critical feature of this change is the development of information and services that assist consumers to assume more responsibility for their own health and to actively participate in health care decisions. At the same time, physicians remain skeptical about the advantages of using the Internet for patient education. Some of the issues that this paper addresses include the following: What are the major factors that are leading to the increased use of the Internet by consumers to obtain health-related information? How do physicians view the use of the Internet by patients to obtain health-related information and services? How is the use of the Internet by consumers affecting physician-patient communications? What are the implications of the Internet for the future of physician-patient relationships?

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel
  • Health Education / methods
  • Humans
  • Information Services
  • Internet*
  • Patient Education as Topic / methods
  • Physician-Patient Relations*
  • Preventive Health Services
  • Self Care*
  • United States