This paper will evaluate a website that contains false information, describe why patients can easily access and believe such information, and the dangers to patients posed by such information. The paper will also outline a response aimed at enlightening patients about the reliability of information available from the internet while at the same time encouraging them to continue being informed.
www.Havidol. Com is a website providing information on the fictitious drug havidol that supposedly treats a condition called dysphoric social attention consumption deficit anxiety disorder. The site also has a self-assessment tool, the Zing self-assessment tool, that requires individuals to answer questions that are aimed at determining whether an individual has the condition. The site provides contraindications for the drug and enumerates the benefits of the drug. The side effects of the drug are also provided. They include excessive salivation, mood changes, taste perversion, and terminal smile. The named manufacturer of the drug is paradise PHARMED, a department of FUTURE PHARMS Inc. The most notable thing about the site is that both the drug and the condition it supposedly treats are both fictitious.
It is easy for patients to access such information because most patients are now connected to the internet. Additionally, patients are usually wary of asking for information from health providers hence they turn to the next easily accessible source, the internet. Health workers also fail to address the information needs of patients, clients, and their families in a comprehensive manner forcing them to look for alternative sources. Because patients most patients do not have background knowledge in medicine or nursing, they may not be able to distinguish facts from opinions or erroneous information provided on a website. Such information maybe dangerous for patients if acted upon. Patients may suffer from drug interactions or from adverse effects due to self-prescription of medications read online.
In response to a query by a patient who has read something from the internet, I would advise the patient that some sites contain erroneous information hence there is a need to look for information from reliable sites. I would inform the patient of reliable online sites relevant to the topic of his or her interest. I would also recommend other reliable sources of information such as patient brochures. Most importantly, I would advise the patient to consult with their general practitioner, primary health provider, or a nurse prior to utilizing any information obtained through the internet.
In summary, the paper has reviewed information available at the website Havidol.com. It has also described why patients are likely to believe such information and the dangers posed to patients by such information. A response aimed at educating patients on the reliability of information garnered from web sites whilst encouraging them to stay informed has been provided.
Future PHARMS Inc. (2007). Havidol. Retrieved from havidol.com