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?