Moving Forward

A physical therapist's perspective on being a health care consumer and on the profession of physical therapy.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Scrutinizing claims

One of the toughest yet most important thing to do as a consumer of health care is to know the quality of information that you're being given. How do you know if someone is giving you good information? After all, there is contradictory info out there for pretty much everything! Well, luckily for us not all information is created equally and there are ways to scrutinize claims to help gain some insight into how much weight, if any, they carry.

It may appear that I've grown infatuated with Dr. Val lately, as I'm about to link to another of her blog posts. I find her writing style and topics to be the best suited for the lay person out of all of the great authors at Science Based Medicine. This week she posted an intro on this very topic and it's excellent. Here it is.

I consider these to be vital skills. Otherwise it is easy to be fooled and easy to spend a lot of money on something that has no real value. The media in its various forms is a perfect place for poor information to take a foot hold and spread. Just look at my previous post on Oprah for an example. I mean she's Oprah. She only gives out good advice, right? How about Good Morning America? Charlie Gibson? The local news paper?

Turns out there is a website that critiques the quality of evidence behind some of the stories in the media. It's pretty interesting to read through. Here it is. Can you find any stories you recognize? Any surprises in the reports?

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Health Care Reform

Health care reform is upon us and many, including myself, are watching anxiously to see what we'll end up with. Several terms are becoming more and more commonplace in the news, including "socialized medicine", "single payer system" and "public option." Much debate exists as to the utility of these approaches and I won't claim to have the answers.

Depending on your view point of the role of government, it seems, the Canadian system is pointed to as both a successful model to follow and an example of how this type of system can't work.

Dr. Val has a recent blog post taking a look at the Canadian system and some of the issues fueling both sides of the debate. She's also provided some links that also are informative.

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Friday, January 9, 2009

The Healthy Woman

As I have mentioned in the past, it is difficult to find information that can be trusted. This is very true when it comes to the health promotion industry that markets to women. Think of all the celebrity endorsements and talk show "experts" and you've got yourself a lot of confusion in the people just looking for some good information.

Dr. Val Jones has just reviewed a new book called "The Healthy Woman" on her blog, Better Health. Dr. Jones has a history of not being swayed by fad, having an understanding of what constitutes credible scientific research, and having a skeptical viewpoint. All of these qualities are quite beneficial when looking for information that you can trust.

Also, be sure to check out her resource center of trusted sources.

Keep up the good work, Dr. Val!

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