Document Type

Article

Publication Date

Winter 10-2012

Abstract

Background:

The popular press has described how Web search engines are used by health consumers to enter symptoms and seek self-diagnoses.1 Several surveys have established that a large number of people use the Web to search for health topics.1,2,3 In an online survey of 12,262 people in 12 countries, Bupa Health Pulse reported that 46% of individuals who use the Internet for health information do so to self-diagnose.3 Web users are unlikely to enter long strings of search terms;4 typically use Google®;5 generally review the first page of results; and rarely explore more than 30 results.6

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