To assess medical information provided in a medically oriented Internet discussion group, web medical information terms of the professional status of the individuals providing information, the consistency of the information with standard medical practice, and the nature of the evidence cited in support of specific claims or recommendations.
Standardized review of 1, consecutive messages on a particular online discussion group during a 5-month period. An online discussion group for sufferers of painful hand and arm conditions. All participants in this discussion group during the study period. Professional training of those offering medical information, consistency of the advice and recommendations offered with conventional medical practice, and nature of evidence cited in support of medical claims were determined.
Of all messages, Approximately one medifal of the medical information provided was classified as unconventional. A published source was cited in 9. Anyone can set up a Web site and offer medical information and opinion. The free flow of information is usually considered a social good; however, several concerns arise in connection with medical information on the Internet.
February 27, and New York Times. April web medical information, C1is the possibility that misinformation may be widely disseminated. The basis or source of medical claims, if indeed there is any, may not be cited.
Trained and qualified persons incormation offer medical advice, but so may anybody else. Information on the Internet may not be peer-reviewed.
At a time of rapid proliferation of Internet sites and discussion groups New York Times. This study was designed to address two hypotheses.
First, we hypothesized that medical information on an Internet discussion group might be provided by nonmedical personnel, or by personnel with unidentified professional credentials. Second, we hypothesized that medical information on an Internet discussion group might be inconsistent with current accepted medical practice, not based on evidence, without benefit, and even harmful.The leading source for trustworthy and timely health and medical news and information. Providing credible health information, supportive community. Medicine is the science and practice of caring for a patient, managing the diagnosis, prognosis, prevention, treatment, palliation of their injury or disease, and promoting their health.
To test these hypotheses we identified an Internet discussion group focused on a specific medical topic, and conducted a systematic review of all messages posted during a defined time interval. All messages appearing on the bulletin board between February 14 and July 20, were characterized according to several criteria, including the qualifications of the author, the purpose of the message, the content of the message, the nature of any medical advice given including the cost implications of complianceand expression of medical dissatisfaction mmedical the author.
The subset of messages in which medical information was provided were classified further by source and type of medical information.
Details of the classification scheme appear below. The web medical information of author was classified according to the following categories: affected person; health care provider; ergonomist or other web medical information or exposure control expert; vendor of hardware, software, ergonomic equipment, or furniture; other; or unknown. The health care provider entries were further subclassified as physician medical doctor or doctor of osteopathynurse, chiropractor, physical or occupational therapist, or other.
This variable was determined from self-identification by the author, inferred from message content, or recognized from previous messages on the bulletin board. Forwarded messages were classified according to the individual who had forwarded the message to the bulletin board, not the original author. The purpose of message variable was coded according to whether the author was requesting information, providing information, both requesting and providing web medical information, performing housekeeping functions of the bulletin board itself, or none of these other.
On the basis of the content of message variable, messages were classified into one of three content areas: 1 software, hardware, furniture, and ergonomic topics; 2 medical topics; and 3 all other topics. A message that described a procedure or piece of equipment, but then made specific medical claims for it, was classified as a medical message.
The medical training of author variable indicated whether the message author had professional training in a health care field and, if so, what type of training. The conventionality of information variable indicated whether the information provided was consistent with generally accepted medical practice, based on either published, peer-reviewed scientific evidence or standard practice. Examples of conventional diagnoses included carpal tunnel syndrome or tendinitis, and examples of conventional ergonomic interventions and medical treatments included furniture or workstation adjustments, decreases in exposure time to repetitive motions, physical and occupational therapy, treatment with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication, immobilization, and surgery after a trial of conservative therapy.
The source of information variable indicated whether the information provided was based on a published citation, generally a peer-reviewed scientific journal, or on personal experience, or on neither of these. To the extent possible our cost estimates included indirect costs for either employer or patient, such as the economic impact of quitting a job.
Medical Information on the Internet
A variable for surgical recommendation was coded as positive when a message included a recommendation for a surgical intervention. The coding form was initially validated by duplicate coding of messages. All messages were initially coded by a single reviewer Web medical information ; those web medical information were ambiguous or difficult to code were independently assessed by all three authors, and a consensus opinion was used for the final coding of these messages.
Repeated messages were counted as many times as they appeared. Consensus coding was required for 0. The 1, messages originated from a total of authors. Of the messages, Another messages The remaining 1, messages The majority of authors sent web medical information only occasionally; of the total of authors, Health care providers, as a group, wrote 5. Only 5 of these 88 messages were written by a physician; the remainder were written by nurses, chiropractors, physical or occupational therapists, or others.
In Information was provided in about two thirds of the messages and requested in about one fifth of the messages Table 2. Table 3 shows that Of the messages with a medical topic, provided rather than requested information. Of these, No basis for the recommendation was apparent in Interestingly, approximately one third of the messages written both by authors with and by authors without professional training were classified as unconventional.
During the study period SOREHAND was a lively discussion forum focused on a relatively specific set of medical problems, mostly among persons with upper extremity symptoms. Participants described their symptoms and sought advice, solace, and support. Many of the requests for information were credulous, uncritical, and even desperate. In response, much information was offered, often in the form of personal advice. Most messages providing information on a medical topic were written by individuals without professional medical training, as predicted by our first hypothesis.
In our sample, 5. The advice offered frequently had little basis in biomedical science or accepted medical practice. Written by Markus Web medical information. Written by Jenna Fletcher 2 studies cited. Written by Joana Cavaco Silva 9 studies cited. Written by Bethany Cadman 5 studies cited.
Written by Jayne Leonard 11 studies cited. Written by Jayne Leonard 8 studies cited. Written by Jamie Eske 5 studies cited.
Written by Jenna Fletcher 6 studies cited. Written by Jayne Leonard 2 studies cited. Written by Veronica Zambon 1 study cited.
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Some of this information will be up-to-date and trustworthy; some will not. How can you tell the good from the bad? The use of social media for health communication is on the rise — both as a resource for consumers and as an outreach tool for health care providers.
Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and other forms of social media provide an opportunity for consumers to share information about personal health experiences and seek information from others. Mobile apps provide a convenient way for users to track health-related information and activities; including when and what medications to take, blood sugar web medical information, and blood pressure, for example.
According to the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, social networks can benefit patients and caregivers in providing, among other things:.
Find information on health conditions, wellness issues, and more in easy-to-read language on MedlinePlus, the up-to-date, trusted health information site. rxpharmacymsn.com is a website from the NIH's National Library of Medicine that has dependable consumer information about more than 1, health-related topics.