Forget ‘Dr Google’, here’s where you should search
WHEN an unusual rash, spot or feeling pops up it's tempting to go online and search Google for information, but often people become anxious and more worked up by Dr Google's insight.
It's difficult to distinguish the reliable online medical information and no search engine can replace the advice of a trained professional.
Yet looking for answers and explanations about health concerns is a natural part of human curiosity and a new initiative has found a way to eliminate the anxiety Dr Google can create.
Words for Wellbeing was launched today at Ipswich City Council Library under the watchful eye of Bernadette Praske, Principal Engagement Officer for West Moreton Hospital and Health Service.
She said people commonly say, after leaving the hospital, they want more information but don't always know where to find it.
Words for Wellbeing has brought together trusted books and websites, selected by qualified medical professionals, which can be accessed through the library and at home.
There are also a range of recommended apps to help people manage their health conditions on a day to day basis.
"People are not sure where to get information and often find, if they just google search, they get incorrect information, then become concerned without necessarily needing to be," Ms Praske said.
"We're trying to get people away from searching on Dr Google and scaring themselves.
"It's really important to understand chronic conditions; people live with them on an ongoing basis and understanding it can improve quality of life.
"Having that trusted information (set aside by the Words for Wellbeing project) means people can access the information that doctors recommend."
West Moreton Hospital and Health Service Chief Executive Sue McKee said similar initiatives had been highly successful in the UK and Western Australia.
"Under the program a GP nurse or health professional will suggest a range of books available for borrowing which directly relate to the patient's current mental or physical health concern," Ms McKee said.
"Although books can sometimes work on their own, research has shown that self-help approaches work best when there is support from a health professional.
"There's solid evidence from the UK that self-help books can help people understand and manage common conditions like anxiety, stress and depression."
For more information go to the website