The Role of Online Communication in Building Confidence in Medical Knowledge

The Role of Online Communication in Building Confidence in Medical Knowledge

With online media, and especially with the offerings of the “web 2.0” or “social web”, the relation of experts and laypersons changes in public communication on scientific information: new arenas of knowledge transfer emerge on the internet (e.g. expert public sphere, collaborative public sphere, personal public sphere). Using the example of medical information, the question was pursued which role the different communication arenas take in building confidence in medical knowledge.

The project is a part of the DFG’s (German Research Foundation) special priority programme “Science and the General Public: Understanding Fragile and Conflicting Scientific Evidence” and was concluded in autumn 2011.

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Project Description

By means of group discussions with cancer patients and their relatives and a representative survey it was examined how medical laypersons build confidence in medical knowledge with the help of various information and communication offerings, and which indicators and recipient-related and situational factors affect this confidence.

Project Information


Duration: 2009-2011

Cooperation Partner

Contact person

Dr. Claudia Lampert
Senior Researcher Media Socialisation & Health Communication

Dr. Claudia Lampert

Leibniz-Institut für Medienforschung | Hans-Bredow-Institut (HBI)
Rothenbaumchaussee 36
20148 Hamburg

Tel. +49 (0)40 45 02 17 - 92
Fax +40 (0)40 45 02 17 - 77



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