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Is the online Availabilty of Care Information Empowering for Care Service Users and Care Professionals? Discuss by Weighing up the Benefits and Shortcomings of onlince Care Information in Relation to This Question.

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Is the online Availabilty of Care Information Empowering for Care Service Users and Care Professionals? Discuss by Weighing up the Benefits and Shortcomings of onlince Care Information in Relation to This Question.

Health care has changed over the past years compared to the way it was in the late 1950s.as health care has changed, it's the same way the way we receive care-information these days is different from then. Nowadays with the development of technology such as the internet, care information online is becoming empowering to both care- service users and care professionals. According to the website benenden, ‘according to a recent opinion poll, 16 per cent of us turn to the internet first when we need advice on health matters.' (www.benenden.org.uk.) this shows that the online care –information is empowering to care- service users. Another example to show how empowering online care-information can be is about the article in the sun newspaper ‘dad's web guide to delivering tot'. A man delivered his child using his blackberry to Google ‘how to deliver a baby'. (www.thesun.co.uk.). When his wife went into labour. This shows how beneficial online-care information can be.

The availability of online care information enables and encourages care service users to play an active role in their health matters thus enabling them to assess their own conditions, know what is normal for their conditions, know where, when and how to get further help and advice. This not only makes them involved in their health matters but also helps them diagnose their health issues due to the information they've read online before visiting their G.P.as a result of what they have read online care- service users end- up collaborating with the care professionals.

With the internet technology these days, it is very easy for care service –users to join support groups online, which I think is very useful as not everyone wants to sit in front of a group of people to talk about their experiences, some feel uncomfortable, embarrassed, shy, which can lead to some people not participating in the discussion and they end up just sitting and listening to others. But with the online support groups available, care service users can express their feelings, experiences easily without resistance as they cannot be seen which makes it easier for them to express their feelings and difficulties. With the online support, care- service users get support at the comfort of their home in front of a computer, this kind of support is convenient and flexible .Care-service users can find communication online with support groups that suits them, since there are so many to choose from. There are email lists and bulletin boards, which allow for thoughtful, deliberate posting. There are some websites which provide real-time chat, which many people prefer for the immediacy and sense that they are in a room with other people and they are not alone with their disability, illness some websites even go to the extent of members having their own blogs or online journal, in which they post their thoughts and feelings. Other members can comment on the topics and give support to the person in need. Online support also gives practical coping tips as everyone shares online, how they tend to cope.

According to the red team members, we come to an understanding that ‘care information online has many different information on health-care but at the same time for a care-service user to be able use or get the information they need, they have to be computer literate'. This is because most care information websites do not take into account that will be different kind of service-users accessing the website.an example of this is someone with eyesight problems, this person will not be able to see and read the information available online. Having said this, the care-service user can access this information through their care-giver. Online –care information is available at any time of the day and

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