Today’s world has brought the emergence of the “informed patient:” someone who becomes well-informed about his or her medical condition through extensive research and information-sharing on the Internet. The article explores the following question: Do informed patients foster citizen empowerment or do they expand the command of existing biomedical knowledge? Using virtual ethnography, an exploratory study was conducted on three online Facebook groups of people with diabetes, hepatitis C, and Aids. Findings suggest points of tension between Facebook members and their healthcare providers. It may be that the empowerment fostered by the Internet and the validity of current medical knowledge are not mutually exclusive.
Pereira Neto, A., Barbosa, L., da Silva, A., & Dantas, M. L. G. (2015). O paciente informado e os saberes médicos: Um estudo de etnografia virtual em comunidades de doentes no facebook. Historia, Ciencias, Saude - Manguinhos, 22, 1653–1671. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0104-59702015000500007