Many people seek health information online through sources such as the implant dentistry journal online. Because anyone can post material on the internet without editorial review, it is important to recognize unreliable and irrelevant information.
Seek Reputable Sources
Good sources of health information include university websites, government agency sites, and online scientific journals. Page content should be reviewed by medical professionals as well as editors.
Patient forums provide important support to people suffering from a condition. However, interactions should be limited to sharing experiences and emotions. Forums should not serve as a place to debate treatment recommendations. Patients differ from each other in their circumstances. You may not know all the factors that led to a particular treatment plan for a person.
Understand the Elements of Quality Research
All research studies have flaws. Some research would be unethical to carry out. However, to the greatest degree possible, scientists design well-controlled studies that yield useful conclusions.
The best studies randomly assign subjects to treatment conditions. This prevents selection biases in who receives treatments. For example, the patients who arrive first for a study may be more motivated, or drink more coffee, than all the other patients. However, you don’t want to confound your study results with motivation or caffeine effects.
Consider the Study Population
The results of a study may not generalize to you if the research subjects are very different from you. Differences may appear based on sex, disability status, health conditions, and ethnicity.
In some fields, such as psychology, it may be common for most subjects to be college sophomores. You will need to decide how much the subject grouping impacts the applicability of the research to your situation.
The internet provides easy access to health information for patients, as long as they pay attention to source reliability and critical reading skills.