by Cheryl-Anne Sturken | January 01, 2005
Turning to the Internet for medical advice actually can make you sicker, warns a recent study conducted by researchers at the University College London.
    The report, published online in October at Cochrane Collaboration (, found that sufferers of chronic diseases, including asthma, cancer and diabetes, said their symptoms worsened rather than improved after they sought guidance on the web.
    According to the study, which combined the findings of 28 previous surveys of a total of 4,042 patients with ongoing illnesses, people who consult web-based health programs become so information-laden that they often make their own treatment decisions, which can be contrary to their doctor’s advice or otherwise sound medical practice.
    While knowledge is good, says the study, too much can be a bad thing. In one web search for the term “vaccination,” for example, 43 percent of leads led researchers to sites advising against injections.