Taking medical ‘selfies’ and sharing them with a doctor empowers and reassures patients and can improve their relationship with the medical practitioner, a research has found.
“Healthcare consumers feel this data is valuable, it helps them have a sense of autonomy in their care, improves their view of the service they are being provided and it enhances the relationship between doctor and patient because there is a sense of mutual respect and communication,” said Kara Burns from the Queensland University of Technology in Australia.
To gauge experiences with and attitudes to consumer-generated health photographs, the researchers conducted a two-part study.
For the study published in the Journal of Medical Internet Research, researchers first interviewed 30 patients, clinicians and caregivers.
In the second part, parents were asked to take photos of their children’s surgical wounds at the hospital and send it to the surgeon so that he could review healing.
Parents said it improved their confidence in and satisfaction with the medical service and taking the photos was a useful reminder for them to check how the surgical sites were healing.
The findings from the photographic trial supported conclusions drawn from the interview study.
“The parents who took part in the trial said they felt reassured and that the service was going above and beyond. They said normally the door feels shut when you leave a hospital and providing the photos was a way to stay connected and contact the surgeon afterwards,” Burns said.