MedBen Client Satisfaction Survey

Search

« Most Employees Prefer Lower-cost Health Coverage OptionsFDA Approves Drug To Treat Advanced Lung Cancer »

Use Discretion When Getting Health Information Online

07/15/13

Permalink 10:33:42 am, by MedBen5 Email , 236 words, 7163 views   English (US)
Categories: Wellness

Use Discretion When Getting Health Information Online

The Internet has become the go-to place for all manner of personal inquiries, including medical research: A recent survey found that 6 in 10 adults have gone online in the past year to diagnosis health issues. But how accurate is the information we find?

On KevinMD.com, family physician Kenneth Lin warns than many health websites contain “flawed, inaccurate, or biased” information. Sometimes, the group running the site may have a hidden agenda, such as a drug company that promotes awareness of a previously unrecognized to spur consumer demand for its new product – a practice known as “disease mongering". Or an organization may willfully disregard scientific evidence to promote certain health beliefs.

For his patients who need trustworthy health information, Lin recommends several websites that have received a high quality rating from independent medical associations, such as Healthfinder.gov and FamilyDoctor.org. The latter site offers a variety of handouts about preventive test basics or newly diagnosed health conditions, including one that advises patients to ask themselves three questions about every health-related website they visit:

  1. Where did this information come from?
  2. How current is this information?
  3. Who is responsible for the content on this website?

While Lin warns patients not to use online information to self-diagnose or treat a medical problem, he does believe that visitng a high-quality health website can help them make better-informed choices – so long as its in conjunction with a doctor’s care.

No feedback yet

Leave a comment


Your email address will not be revealed on this site.

Your URL will be displayed.
(Line breaks become <br />)
(Name, email & website)
(Allow users to contact you through a message form (your email will not be revealed.)