Paging Dr. Google: The Effect of Online Health Information on Trust in Pediatricians’ Diagnoses
© The Author(s) 2019. This study investigates how parental trust in physician diagnoses and likelihood of seeking a second opinion (SO) are affected by Internet sources. In an anonymous survey, 1374 parents of minors viewed a vignette describing their child’s symptoms followed by Internet results that either supported or contradicted the pediatrician’s diagnosis (Dx). A control group did not view any Internet results. After learning the Dx, participants rated trust in the Dx and likelihood of seeking a SO on a 7-point Likert-type scale. Participants who viewed contradicting results were less likely to trust the Dx (P <.001) and more likely to seek a SO than the control (P <.001). Participants who viewed supporting results were more likely to trust the Dx (P <.001) and less likely to seek a SO than the control (P <.001). Physicians must be aware of the influence the Internet may have on patients’ trust.