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Conflicting Online Health Information and Rational Decision Making: Implication for Cancer Survivors

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Abstract

Although people in the social media age can access health information easier, they have difficulty judging conflicting rational information or summarizing the large amounts of health information available. Conflicting health information occurs when contrary assertions or information about a certain health issue comes from different information sources. This study examined the background knowledge and the current phenomenon of why conflicting health information occurs in real-world conditions. We also reviewed causes and solutions by reviewing the literature. In particular, we recommend a method that solves problems that patients have including cancer survivors who cannot themselves be active in seeking health information. Thus, we categorized the specific types of conflicting health information and analyzed the sociodemographic factors and information carrier factors that have an impact on the health information–seeking behavior of individuals.

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