Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and other forms of social media provide an opportunity for consumers to share information web medical information personal health experiences and seek information from others. Mobile apps web medical information a convenient way for users to track health-related information and activities; including when and what medications to take, blood sugar levels, 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:. However, like Web sites, not all social media outlets are safe and reliable. Many of the steps that should be taken to evaluate the safety and reliability of a Web site should also be used when using social media. For example: Is a product being offered for sale? Or is the source of the discussion or information unclear? 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 web medical information economic impact of quitting a job. A web medical information 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 JDC ; those that 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 messages 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 web medical information 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 web medical information 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, web medical information. The advice offered frequently had little basis in biomedical science or accepted medical practice.
Slightly more than one third of messages recommended unconventional interventions for upper extremity pain, such as acupuncture, aromatherapy, Qi Gong, homeopathy, and Jin Shin Jytsu.
These findings support our second hypothesis. Typically, a new discussion group member described one or two symptoms and elicited numerous responses about the nature of the problem and how best to manage it. In this case, the diagnosis, treatment, and attribution to use of the computer appeared to be unverified. I have sore elbows, and the muscles going down my arms become sore. I cannot lift heavy things and have begun backing off of computer time.
I had something very similar. It could be related to thoracic outlet syndrome. In general, contributors appeared web medical information assume that what was stated by other contributors was true, and there was a conspicuous absence of critical evaluation of conclusions drawn.
I shifted a lot of boxes, carried stuff from here to there, put up shelves i. As soon as I got back to work and started typing, I could feel things start to ache again.
I guess it was a case of using different muscles, tendons, etc. They cost a lot of money and they know less about the specifics of your body than a good physical therapist. Doctors simply do not spend enough time with their patients they make too much money to treat us like individuals.
Several methodologic problems limit the inferences that can be drawn from our results. First, we characterized medical advice informarion conventional or unconventional rather than assessing its efficacy or safety.
These latter features are of greater interest, but were impossible to assess owing to the absence of rigorous data regarding most interventions for upper extremity symptoms. Similarly, we could not evaluate the medical appropriateness of advice given, or assess risks mdical benefits of compliance. Most of the interventions recommended were low in cost and did not include surgery.
In some cases more aggressive therapy may have had less risk, such as surgery after a trial of conservative web medical information for carpal tunnel syndrome to prevent permanent nerve damage. The inability to assess the benefit or risk of recommendations is another limitation of the results of this study. A related limitation was our inability to verify the identity and motives of authors, informatiom the self-identification they provided.
We did identify 41 messages 2.
Online Health Information: Is It Reliable? | National Institute on Aging
There were so few messages written by persons with professional training that when stratified by source and type of information the categories were too small to provide meaningful information. Our observations can be understood in at least two contexts: snake oil and self-help. Snake oil is a term applied to medical misinformation, and by extension to medical products with unproven efficacy or unproven safety. Although the term snake oil denotes willful deception, misinformation and unproven products may be dispensed for many reasons: honest error, a desire to promote a particular agenda or ideology, informatiion a desire for commercial gain.
Snake oil has a long history in health care, ranging from the promotion of questionable nutritional remedies, 21 to unconventional therapies such web medical information electromagnetic fields, 22 and informattion treatments for arthritis, 23 allergies, 24 cancer, 25 and AIDS.
Internet discussion groups may also be understood within the tradition of self-help groups in health care. Self-help groups, a web medical information trend in the United States, 2829 vary greatly in style, subject, and format. Common characteristics include a shared concern, self-governance, a democratic ideology, and nonprofit status. The impact of self-help groups on their members is difficult to assess. Written by Yvette Brazier 8 studies cited. Written by Tracey Williams Strudwick 18 studies cited.
Written by Jennifer Huizen 1 link cited. Written by Jennifer Berry 3 studies cited. Written by Jenna Fletcher 7 studies cited. Written by Bethany Cadman 3 studies cited. Written by Jayne Leonard 22 studies cited.
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