Use of internet as source of medical information and its impact among young Transylvanian Hungarian people - a comparative study

Kocsis Loránd 1  and Szabó Mónika 2
  • 1 University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Tirgu Mures,
  • 2 University of Medicine and Pharmacy of Tirgu-Mures, Department of Internal Medicine Emergency Clinic Mures, Diabetology Department


The internet is the most popular information source in our digital world. Studies confirm that numerous people are using the internet to look up health-related information. There is no information about this trend among the Transylvanian Hungarian population. Our purpose was to assess the role of the internet in answering health-related problems for young Hungarian Transylvanian people, and its impact.

The participants (N=351) completed an online questionnaire with 28 items, which was available on Facebook, on the first page indicating their consent to a voluntary and anonymous survey. Our target was the generation below the age of 45. Descriptive, then comparative analysis was performed, based on gender and region of origin.

95.3% of the participants used the internet for finding health-related information, diagnosis, treatment or diet, without significant difference between subgroups, 70% at least once a month. Only 3.3% were instructed by their physician about the websites that provide health information, while 90% would require it. At least 64% of the respondents makes self-diagnosis at least sometimes, women more often, and nearly 25% frequently or always check the doctor’s opinion and/or the recommended treatment online. 40% of cases consider that their self-diagnosis was often the same as the physician’s final diagnosis, but only 33,2% agreed totally with their doctor. 47,4% of them were scared and/or became worried because of the information from the internet, especially women.

Based on the above, it is clear that online health information overtakes the traditional doctor-centered health information and makes it necessary for us to change our perspective of digital healthcare.

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