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Cyberchondria

Encyclopedia
Edited by: Published: 2017
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Cyberchondria is the experience of heightened anxiety related to medical disorders resulting from online health information seeking. Cyberchondria is a social phenomenon that has evolved along with the corresponding increase in Internet use for obtaining personal health information. The topic of cyberchondria provides fertile ground for social science researchers and, more specifically, communication scholars. The impact of cyberchondria can be examined from a communicative perspective through the lens of technology scholarship, health communication, and interpersonal research. The following entry provides an explanation of cyberchondria including its history and how it is distinct from hypochondria, discusses several social implications of cyberchondria, and provides examples of how the social understanding of cyberchondria could be enhanced through communication-based research investigations.

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