Studies have shown that researching health and medical information is one of the most popular online activities. 93 million or 80% of Americans, searched for health-related concerns online in 2018, according to Pew Internet & American Life Project. That’s a leap from 62 percent of those researching health topics online in 2001. Unfortunately, online health researches can lead to unnecessary anxiety and frustration. In this episode Dr. Jannine Krause discusses how to get the most out of your online health researches and how to present the information you’ve found to your doctor.
What You’ll Learn In Today’s Episode:
- How Google doctoring causes unnecessary anxiety
- Why you should bring up online research information to your doctor
- How online health information can be misleading
- Why advocating for your health via online research is important
Resources from the Show:
Before you rely on a health website, you should consider:
- Is the website managed by an identified health expert, such as a government agency (CDC, WHO, NIH), university (Harvard, University of Maryland) or hospital group (Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic) ?
- What are the qualifications of the individual that wrote the article?
- Is the article or website selling a product or service related to the topic that you are researching? If so – if it’s a supplement or product that promises big results – beware as their information is going to be biased.
- Are the article or website’s claims supported by peer-reviewed or clinical research? And if so look up the research and see who funded the research as that can skew the information presented to you. Ex: An article boasting the benefits of dairy products that’s sponsored by the dairy council – possibly biased.
- Check out the date of the article or research. Medical data can change fast – you want the most recent data and data that’s no older than 3 years.
- Is there an editorial board or peer review noted on the article? This is good if so. Often you’ll see – reviewed by Dr. xyz.
- Realistically do the article’s claims seem too good to be true? If so move on to find more research.
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