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Handbook of Research on Cyberchondria, Health Literacy, and the Role of Media in Society’s Perception of Medical Information

Handbook of Research on Cyberchondria, Health Literacy, and the Role of Media in Society’s Perception of Medical Information
Author(s)/Editor(s): Hacer Aker (Selcuk University, Turkey)and Mary Aiken (University of East London, UK)
Copyright: ©2022
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-8630-3
ISBN13: 9781799886303
ISBN10: 1799886301
EISBN13: 9781799886327



Cyberchondria is characterized by a pattern of excessive health-based search behaviors that are likely to increase health anxiety or distress, heightened by ever-increasing access to and normalization of technology use and the internet specifically. The internet can be a source of valuable medical information and is an efficient vehicle for awareness-raising and dissemination; however, it can increase anxiety in audiences without medical knowledge or training and can pose a challenge to the traditional gatekeepers of medical knowledge and expertise. Technological advances are accelerating rapidly; however, concomitant to this acceleration, an epidemic of online mis- and dis-information that has the capacity to negatively impact general health, health literacy, and health behaviors globally now exists. The World Health Organization (WHO) has described this information overload as an infodemic.

The Handbook of Research on Cyberchondria, Health Literacy, and the Role of Media in Society’s Perception of Medical Information covers a wide range of topics from the characteristics and prevalence of cyberchondria to the pandemic policy response and cybersecurity issues relating to eHealth initiatives and pandemic-related surges in cybercrime. Therefore, this publication has transdisciplinary relevance to professionals from healthcare, government, law enforcement, academia, the technology sector, media, cybersecurity, and education. Graduate and undergraduate students may also find it to be a beneficial resource, not only in terms of the study of cyberchondria but also in terms of the psychological and sociological implications of global crisis events. One of the key messages of this book is as follows: All stakeholders must work together strategically to disseminate authentic public health messages during any global health crisis. They must work to reduce health-related anxiety mediated by technology and seek to improve critical thinking skills and global health literacy.

Table of Contents


Author's/Editor's Biography

Hacer Aker (Ed.)

Hacer Aker graduated from Selcuk University, Faculty of Communication Radio, Television and Cinema Department. She completed her Master’s Degree in the Social Sciences Institute of the same university in 2010. She worked in different positions in various media organizations till 2012. Later she was appointed as a research assistant in 2013. She completed her Phd at the aforementioned department at Selcuk University. Since 2020, she continues work at Selcuk University, Faculty of Communication, Department of Radio, Television and Cinema as a Assistant Professor. Her academic research interests include new communication technologies, film studies, politic cinema, cultural policies, philosophy, poverty and comedy besides communication studies.

Mary Aiken (Ed.)

Mary Aiken is a Professor of Forensic Cyberpsychology in the Department of Law and Criminology at the University of East London. She is a Professor of Cyberpsychology and Chair of the Department of Cyberpsychology at Washington D.C.'s premier STEM University, Capitol Technology University, and Adjunct Professor at the Geary Institute for Public Policy University College Dublin. She is a member of the INTERPOL Global Cybercrime Expert Group and Academic Advisor to Europol's European Cyber Crime Center (EC3), Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, member of Medico-Legal Society, International Affiliate Member of the American Psychological Association (APA), Fellow of the Society for Chartered I.T. Professionals, and International Global Fellow at the Washington DC Wilson Center. Professor Aiken has an M.Sc in Cyberpsychology & a PhD in Forensic Cyberpsychology; her research interests include SafetyTech, Online Harms, Cyberchondria, A.I., Fintech, human factors in cybersecurity, organized cybercrime, online behavioural profiling, Internet psychology & youth protection online. She engages in policy debates at the intersection of technology and human behaviour and has published and spoken internationally on this topic. A published, peer-reviewed author, Professor Aiken, has been featured by CBS, BBC, New York Post, Newsweek, NPR, Inside Edition, Scientific American, Variety, the Atlantic, Washington Post, WSJ, New York Times, Sunday Times, Guardian, Hollywood Reporter and Time Magazine.


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