Archives of Medicine and Health Sciences

ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year
: 2019  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 154--162

Cyberchondria: Implications of online behavior and health anxiety as determinants


Denelle Mohammed, Sara Wilcox, Camille Renee, Christine Janke, Niki Jarrett, Anjelika Evangelopoulos, Chasity Serrano, Nazmin Tabassum, Natashia Turner, Melody Theodore, Aleksandar Dusic, Rana Zeine 
 Basic Medical Sciences, Saint James School of Medicine, Park Ridge, IL, USA

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Rana Zeine
Saint James School of Medicine, 1480 Renaissance Drive, Park Ridge, IL 60068
USA

Background: Cyberchondria is excessive worrying about one's health that develops following internet search for medical and health information. Aim: This study investigates how the development of cyberchondria relates to characteristics of the person searching the internet including their medical history, age, and health-related anxiety. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted between 2015 and 2016. The “Dr. Net” survey consisted of 32 questions based on previously published surveys probing the use of internet search for health-related information. Participants were recruited from the authors' own social network by receiving a hyperlink through social media platforms and e-mails. One hundred and ninety-one English-speaking individuals, majority from Canada and the USA, completed the “Dr. Net” questionnaire online and anonymously through SurveyMonkey®. Results: Females sought health-care advice earlier than males (**P = 0.005). Younger age groups exhibited higher frequencies of internet search, daily versus weekly, versus monthly versus yearly, with differences between the 21 and 30 versus >60 (***P = 0.000), 21–30 versus 51–60 (**P = 0.011), 21–30 versus 31–40 (**P = 0.019), 31–40 versus 51–60 (**P = 0.012), 41–50 versus 51–60 (**P = 0.021), and <20 versus >60 years' age groups (**P = 0.024). 30.7% reported developing cyberchondria. Indicators of cyberchondria correlated with older age (r = 0.154, P=**0.036), negative medical history (r = 0.191, **P = 0.013), health anxiety (r = 0.268, ***P = 0.000), and hypochondria (r = 0.142, P = 0.062). Less than four percent perceived their internet search as disadvantageous. Conclusion: Cyberchondria was reported by a third of those who conducted health-related internet searches, with higher frequencies in older, previously healthy individuals who had health anxiety.


How to cite this article:
Mohammed D, Wilcox S, Renee C, Janke C, Jarrett N, Evangelopoulos A, Serrano C, Tabassum N, Turner N, Theodore M, Dusic A, Zeine R. Cyberchondria: Implications of online behavior and health anxiety as determinants.Arch Med Health Sci 2019;7:154-162


How to cite this URL:
Mohammed D, Wilcox S, Renee C, Janke C, Jarrett N, Evangelopoulos A, Serrano C, Tabassum N, Turner N, Theodore M, Dusic A, Zeine R. Cyberchondria: Implications of online behavior and health anxiety as determinants. Arch Med Health Sci [serial online] 2019 [cited 2020 Jun 5 ];7:154-162
Available from: http://www.amhsjournal.org/article.asp?issn=2321-4848;year=2019;volume=7;issue=2;spage=154;epage=162;aulast=Mohammed;type=0