[Second opinion clinic: is the Web Babel Syndrome treatable?]

Clin Ter. 2011;162(6):575-83.
[Article in Italian]


The term "second opinion" has been widely used, since the 70's in the American hospitals with the aim of reducing the skyrocketing costs of the patients' healthcare, improving their diagnosis, the patient's care and his healing process at the same time. In this paper, after a short review of the "second opinion" impact on different medical fields, we give the reasons why, nowadays, patients are strongly addressed towards a second opinion seeking behaviour. In fact, due to the spreading of the world wide web, the patient can obtain any kind of medical information, even if it is an unqualified one. This fact leads the patient to carry out an obsessive search that can result in confusion and disorientation. We have defined this psychological distress the "Web Babel Syndrome". Building upon these foundations, we strongly support a "second opinion medical clinic" that can face the patient's needs and help those patients with impending single or multiple unresolved illnesses. They need a multispecialty diagnostic or therapeutic medical or surgical approach in order to heal properly or achieve a better quality of life.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Internet*
  • Referral and Consultation*