ASSIGNMENT COVER SHEET Course name: Health Behavior Course Code & CRN: PHC281 -XXXX Assignment title or task: (You can write a question) “Historically,   people have always tried to answer their health questions at home and made   personal choices about whether and when to consult a clinician. Many have now   added to their   personal health toolbox, helping themselves and their loved ones better   understand what might be ailing them.” Fox, S., & Duggan, M. (2013).   Health online 2013. , 2013, 1-55. Discuss   why some people go online to get diagnoses instead of going to a   doctor/health professional. Student name: Student ID: Submission date: Instructor name: Grade: …….  Out of 5 Release Date: 26/09/2020 Due Date: 03/10/2020 Instructions: ·         Length of the write-up should be 200-500 words. ·         Font should be Times New Roman, and size should be 12. ·         Heading should be Bold ·         The text color should be Black ·         Line spacing should be 1.5. ·         Proper headings with number should be given for each segment ·         Avoid Plagiarism ·         Assignments must be submitted with the filled cover page

Title: The Motivations Behind Seeking Online Diagnoses vs. Consulting Healthcare Professionals

Introduction:
The evolution of technology and the widespread availability of the internet have transformed the way individuals seek health information. Traditionally, people relied on personal experiences, word-of-mouth, or consulting healthcare professionals for health-related concerns. However, with the rise of online health information, individuals are increasingly opting to search the internet for diagnoses before consulting a doctor or health professional. This assignment aims to discuss the reasons why some people choose to go online for diagnoses instead of seeking professional medical advice.

Convenience and Accessibility:
One of the primary reasons individuals turn to the internet for medical information is the convenience and accessibility it offers. With just a few clicks, a vast amount of health information can be accessed from the comfort of one’s home. Moreover, the internet is accessible 24/7, eliminating the need to wait for appointments or healthcare providers’ availability. This immediate access to information empowers individuals and allows them to address their health concerns promptly.

Information Seeking Behavior:
People’s desire to gain a better understanding of their health conditions and potential diagnoses drives them to search online. It is natural for individuals to have curiosity and seek information about their symptoms or medical conditions. The internet provides a wide range of resources, including articles, forums, and medical websites, which cater to these informational needs. By researching online, individuals can educate themselves about their symptoms, potential causes, and treatment options, empowering them to make informed decisions about their health.

Anonymity and Privacy:
For some individuals, seeking online diagnoses allows them to maintain privacy and anonymity. The fear of stigma or embarrassment associated with certain health conditions often discourages people from consulting healthcare professionals. Online platforms provide a level of anonymity, allowing individuals to seek information without fear of judgment. This anonymity reduces the barriers that prevent individuals from seeking timely medical advice and encourages them to take control of their health.

Cost Concerns:
Another significant factor compelling people to seek online diagnoses is the potential cost associated with medical consultations. Healthcare expenses, including doctor visits, tests, and medications, can be a financial burden for many individuals. By searching online, individuals may find free or cheaper alternatives in the form of self-diagnosis tools, symptom checkers, or online consultations. The prospect of saving money encourages individuals to explore online resources for obtaining a preliminary understanding of their symptoms or conditions before considering a costly professional consultation.

Empowerment and Self-Care:
Online health information empowers individuals to take an active role in their health management. The availability of information enables individuals to become educated and engaged in their own healthcare. By seeking online diagnoses, individuals can gain a sense of control over their health and become proactive in managing their symptoms. Furthermore, individuals may find online resources that provide advice on self-care techniques and home remedies, offering an alternative to immediate professional intervention.

Limitations and Potential Risks:
While seeking online diagnoses can have its advantages, it is essential to recognize the limitations and potential risks associated with relying solely on online information. Online sources may vary in terms of credibility and accuracy, leading to misinformation or misinterpretation of symptoms. Furthermore, self-diagnosis without professional input may delay appropriate medical intervention or lead to unnecessary anxiety. It is important for individuals to critically evaluate the reliability of online sources and seek professional advice when necessary.

Conclusion:
The reasons why individuals choose to go online for diagnoses instead of seeking professional medical advice are multi-faceted. Convenience, accessibility, the desire for information, privacy concerns, cost considerations, and the desire for empowerment and self-care all contribute to this behavior. While online health information can be a valuable resource, it is crucial to approach it cautiously and supplement it with expert medical advice. The role of healthcare professionals remains essential in providing accurate diagnoses, personalized treatment plans, and ensuring the well-being of individuals seeking medical guidance.