The Internet’s Effect on Parental Trust in Pediatrician Diagnosis of Autism and Likelihood of Seeking a Second Opinion
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This study assessed how web-based information affects parental trust in physician’s diagnosis of autism (PDA) and likelihood of seeking a second opinion. Participants of an online survey were randomly allocated to one of three hypothetical scenarios, all were given a vignette of a non-verbal 18-month-old child followed by (1) not viewing Internet results, (2) viewing results suggesting autism, or (3) viewing results suggesting language delay and rated their trust and likelihood of seeking a second opinion. When Internet results contradicted PDA, parents reported less trust in PDA and greater likelihood of seeking a second opinion. Due to the Internet’s influence on parents’ response to PDA, clinicians should discuss their differential diagnosis with parents, address Internet-related concerns, and recommend trustworthy sources.
KeywordsPhysician trust Internet Autism Parents
No external sources of funding were secured for this study.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare no conflicts of interest.
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