Cyberchondria: A Microsoft Study on Health-Related Internet Searches
Many people are using the Internet as a diagnostic tool to find information on health conditions, disease symptoms, as well as treatment suggestions. Microsoft recently published a new study on medical web-searching behavior and how search results from popular Web search engines can affect decision making.
Among other results, the study found that answers retrieved from Internet search engines can often lead users to believe that common symptoms are likely the result of serious illnesses and to increase the anxiety of people who have little or no medical training.
You can access the full article at http://research.microsoft.com/research/pubs/view.aspx?type=Technical%20Report&id=1595