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Ellen McPake: We must protect patients from the internet's bogus cures and misinformation

Inaccurate and misleading online health information manipulates vulnerable people. Nurses have a duty to meet it head on, says Macmillan Cancer Support’s first digital nurse specialist.

Inaccurate and misleading online health information manipulates vulnerable people. Nurses have a duty to meet it head on, says Macmillan Cancer Support’s first digital nurse specialist

The rise of ‘Dr Google’ has changed the relationship between nurse and patient forever.

As nurses we need to understand the benefits and risks of patients looking up diseases, treatments and side effects online. The internet can provide helpful information but there’s an awful lot out there that could be dangerous or misleading. I’m working with Macmillan to help patients access verified and reliable information and support online.

These days, a patient will almost certainly have Googled their symptoms, possible treatment and side effects before you meet them; gone are the days when I would discourage people from researching their illness online. Finding out you are unwell can be a terrifying and overwhelming experience, and

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