Effects of Patients' Internet Use on Medical Ethics Aspects of Doctor-Patient-Relationships
ScienceCampus Tuebingen, Cluster: The Influence of Information Environments on Doctor-Patient Relationships
Besides content-related interest, personal relevance also motivates information search on the Internet. This is especially true for health-related threat experienced, for instance, by ill persons. This project investigates how health-related threat influences (1) processing of information (e.g., selection of information, memory of information) from the Internet, (2) the representation of the own state of health, and (3) health-related self-esteem.
Health-related threat is an affective-motivational state which activates defense mechanisms to reduce the threat such as biased and self-serving information processing. If patients who experience health-related threat search for information on the Internet in a self-directed fashion, they will (1) focus on information which presents positive health-related prospects and reduced health-related risks. (2) This biased information processing results in a more positive representation of their own state of health which means that more positive prospects and less risks of the illness are perceived. (3) This, in turn, enhances their health-related self-esteem.
By means of laboratory experiments we examine how health-related threat affects the selection of information and memory of information from the Internet. A longitudinal field study investigates how chronically ill patients represent their state of health and with how much self-esteem they deal with their health over time.
- Institute for Ethics in Medicine, University of Tuebingen