Hyperhidrosis and 'Disease Mongering'
Canadian researchers have demonstrated that the medical term for a condition can often be perceived as more serious than the lay term. When presented with both the lay and medical terms for 16 conditions, undergraduate university students (52 of them) perceived the medical terms to be associated with a more serious illness and more likely to be a disease per se. For example, hyperhidrosis vs excessive sweating, erectile dysfunction vs impotence, hypertension vs high blood pressure, or androgenic alopecia vs male pattern baldness - the medical terms were all rated as more serious medical conditions.
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Researchers believe that it is important for healthcare professionals to provide both terms to allow people to gain a better understanding of their condition. The use of medical terms also has implications from an advertising perspective. Using the medical terms in advertising may inadvertedly create a fear factor among individuals targeted by the advertising campaigns. Click here for access to the news article.
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