Diagnosing an illness over the web 'can be a pitfall'

18 April 2012

Many Brits will trust health advice provided through a website, despite the fact that such a tactic can result in people easily being misdiagnosed.

Research commissioned by health brand Balance Activ highlighted that a quarter of women in the UK will turn to the internet to find treatment for illnesses which they find embarrassing.

However, one in four of those who chose to go down this route inadvertently misdiagnosed themselves, which then led to many of them buying the wrong products for their condition.

In fact, a tenth of British women were misled to the point where their mistake resulted in painful and unpleasant side effects.

Penny McCormick, spokeswoman for Balance Activ, stated: "The web gives us a wealth of information that can be useful in reducing our worries until we're able to gain proper advice from a medical authority if it's needed, but the results show how easy it is to make mistakes when diagnosing ourselves."

The research comes soon after a BBC survey found that just 12 per cent of family doctors believe government plans to change the NHS will make the system significantly better.

Posted by Philip Briggs

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