The internet has opened a whole new world of communication and information sharing. The instant access to share information with your friends and family is a great advancement, but it can become dangerous before you know it. When shaky medical information is shared by patients online, everyone who reads it is put at risk.
What is Shaky Medical Information?
First and foremost, you must be able to understand what shaky medical information is. Reliable medical information should be backed by evidence and scientific studies that prove it to be true. Shaky medical information is typically information based on opinions, myths, and word of mouth stories. A simple search online will be able to reveal if the information you have is factual or just a shaky idea being spread around.
The Potential Healthcare Risks
The risks of sharing shaky medical information can’t be overlooked. When false information is shared by the masses, people begin to believe it. The antivaxx movement is a perfect example. A group of people began to spread that vaccinations could lead to autism and developmental delays in children.
That information spread rapidly and led to parents who were too afraid to vaccinate all around the globe. Vaccinations have no link to autism, developmental delays, or any other illnesses. Shaky medical information creates a widespread panic and fear when more times than not, the information is totally false.
The antivaxx movement has created a measles outbreak in 2019 that’s larger than we’ve seen since the year 2000 when the measles were eliminated.
How to Identify False Information
If you’ve read or heard medical information that you’re unsure of, wait to share it. Do your own searching for certified sources that back what you’ve heard. If the information can be backed with evidence, sharing it isn’t harmful.
However, if you can’t find facts to support what you’ve heard, the information is probably false. False information leads people to avoid treatment, question their medical provider, and suffer avoidable conditions.
If you see other people online sharing shaky medical information, take the time to discuss the dangers with them. Many people don’t understand why something as sharing a post online could lead to a medical epidemic like the antivaxx movement. You may not be able to monitor all the information shared online, but you can make a difference in your own circle of friends!