EMPIRE and the Internet Prescription Influences that motivate General Practitioners to recommend Medical [health] Websites to the Health Consumer.
ABSTRACT This article critically explores the influences that motivate General Practitioners [GPs] to choose and recommend particular medical [health] websites to their patients. To assist in such a research endeavour, specific attention will be given to outlining GP's attitudes and motives for using the Internet to further enhance the doctor - patient relationship. Research to date does emphasise some of the reasons why GPs actively partake in the recommendation of medical [health] websites to the health consumer. It has been established that GPs undertake 'Internet Prescription' or 'Website Recommendation', due to the heightened levels of doctor - patient communication and the shared decision making this process promotes. However, to date, there is little research examining the motives and influences determining the practice of medical [health] website recommendation by GPs to the health consumer. This article draws upon the work of Hardt and Negri (2000) to theorize and critically examine the influences that motivate the recommendation of medical [health] websites by GPs in terms of the concepts of control, capitalism and information imperialism. Hardt and Negri (2004), in their exploration of the development and rise of a networked digital information highway, more commonly called 'The Internet', give particular attention to the concepts of cyberspace and the impacts of globilisation. Attention will be directed towards outlining how global pharmaceutical companies and the networked digital information highway have influenced online health information access and delivery by GPs. Keywords Empire; Internet; General Practitioners; Internet Prescription; Globilisation; Governance; Health Consumer; Pharmaceutical Companies; Medical [health] Websites; Information Imperialism.
1st ICHPER - SD Oceania Congress 2006 Fusion Down-Under