“Who google on moehied soon comes to cancer or Lyme’

The Dutch find it more and more common for online to look for information when they are ill or have complaints, according to recent research from the Central Bureau for Statistics (CBS). Who are the right sites to consult, can therefore all learn a lot. With these tips, you can be sure that the information is reliable.

Googling what that back pain can, find the reason why that snotneus takes so long or to find information about cancer treatments. We do it all online. In 2018, was looking for 67 percent of Dutch people over twelve years online for information about diseases, nutrition and exercise, evidenced by new figures from the CBS. In 2012, this activity still for a little less than half.

The netherlands is a forerunner in Europe when it comes to the online search for information about our health. Where 72 percent of the Dutch population between 16 and 74 years old did this, is the European average is 52 percent.

Years ago, this was still by many physicians recommended. But in the meantime, there are web sites by official bodies set up to inform people. So also an initiative of the Dutch general Practitioners Society (NHG). On this site, that is maintained by general practitioners, is to find information about hundreds of ailments, diseases and complaints.

Look for diagnosis or treatment options

Who’s online looking for information, it is important not to go searching for what their symptoms mean, advises Patrick Jones, a general practitioner in Nijmegen and editor-in-chief of “If you google that you’re tired, you’ll soon end up sites that notify you that you have cancer or Lyme disease. And that while 98 percent of that group just to work hard and pay little attention to the body spends.”

There are also plenty of sites and forums in which people share information that is not always correct or not reliable. Persistent misunderstandings are so fully shared, and also fierce diagnoses for minor ailments continue to be that way feedback.

Visit only the sites of official organizations or institutions. It is also better to search for a diagnosis or treatment than to have a complaint, then you can be faster with the right information, tips the doctor.

Effect of online information

The website has a hundred thousand visitors a day, says Jones. “We have two years ago with a large group of general practitioners examined the effect of the website. The number of contacts and consultations was 12 percent decline.”

Many general practitioners responded and stated that this was not right. They were no less busy. “But we saw that their task had changed. There were less people with small complaints that online enough information. And more people with complex problems, such as cancer or chronic diseases.”

So you can find online the correct information about health

  • Find out who is the creator of the website is or what the source of the information is
  • Compare multiple sites to see if the information matches
  • Visit sites of official organizations or institutions
  • Consult the doctor in case of doubts or questions

Gp is a coach

The task of the gp is with the advent of the internet has changed, he says. “There is more zelfregie, a greater degree of self-management in the group who can.” The average Dutchman is well able to searching online for information about their complaints.

This ensures that they have with their own information to go to the doctor and specific questions to be asked, says the doctor. “In addition, people do not have to wait on the phone and has the doktersassistent more time.”

Together is the best treatment will be discussed. “That makes the doctor more to a coach and adviser, in place of the one who tells you which pill you need.” Not everyone in the box is happy with that development, says Jansen, “Many find it exciting.”

Mainly because of the different role of the doktersassistent, which is important when creating events. It concerns the so-called triageren: to estimate whether a man should come or not.

“Some doctors fear that people easy things by appointment, because they are the assistant not to speak. But if people have an appointment, journal entry, they do not usually just. Then they have a reason.”

The role of the general practitioner is by the advent of the internet changed, says Jansen.

The Site is not a good idea’ started in 2010. Then came the plan for a website launch and the information that general practitioners normally provide. “At the time, found 75 percent of respondents think that not a good idea. But the NHG has done. Now everyone is happy.”

Meanwhile, almost every family practice a website. In approximately 30 to 40 percent is it possible to get online to make an appointment or e-consult, ask, think Jones.

From the figures of statistics netherlands show that one quarter of the Dutch population older than twelve years, used the online facility to make an appointment with a general practitioner or medical specialist.

“By the one doctor are the one to three online appointments per week, others five to eight per day. To me, the practice is 30 percent of the appointments on the consultation online.”

More information about secondary care

The site would be so great, had Jones in advance is not expected. “We want to be more in the future focus on online triage: a website to assist and give advice. But that is difficult to arrange due to the legal liability.”

In addition, there should be more cooperation with the specialists, he says.

“If I ask people whether they all online searches, says 80 to 90 percent that this is so.”
Patrick Jansen, a gp and editor-in-chief of

Medical specialists, from oncologists to dermatologists, also contribute to the site. This will a person informed from the time of the complaint to the treatment in the hospital. “There is already information about thirty to forty disorders online where a medical specialist is involved.”

Online information can press the doctor away

The coming years will see Jansen also an important task in the distinction between emergency and complaints.

“The workload of general practitioners is skyrocketing. can play a role by providing information about whether the urgent need is if someone has a complaint.” You must now go to the doctor or you can wait until the morrow? “That must have been some pressure at the doctor away.”

Online looking? Compare information

Who goes online to search for more information about a complaint, you should especially look at the reliability of the site, tips Jones. “Look who made the website has, or who is the source of the information.”

Also the comparing of information can provide insight into the reliability. “If multiple sites have the same information, seems to be correct.”

There are also plenty of people who still to the doctor, check whether the information they find is correct, says Jones. “If I ask people whether they all online searches, says 80 to 90 percent that this is so.”

Jansen does not think that the doctor eventually supplanted by technological developments. “We continue to be the gatekeeper and the person that the patient and his background.” Jansen also emphasizes the role of counsellor. “I know my patients, which remains an important value. Therefore the doctor does not disappear.”

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