Top Ways to Fight Health Misinformation

Top Ways to Fight Health Misinformation

Misinformation regarding health is, unfortunately, more often believed than the facts due to the wide range of sources on the internet. Social media gossip, “fake news,” and articles or so-called publications that are not written by a certified professional are just a few of the dangers the public faces regarding health misinformation.
Without a certified doctor to speak with anytime health questions arise, many frequently go to the internet to self-diagnose and research their own remedies. How should these dangers be avoided to educate the public on which resources can be trusted versus those that cannot?
There are a few ways the public can protect themselves from health misinformation and debunk the myths scattered across the internet.  Sorting through information on The Health Literacy Solutions Center website will make this research easier.

1. Communicate Factual Information on Health

Communication is key concerning the facts on health. Anyone can sign up for a social media account, along with voicing opinions on those accounts. Because almost all ages use some form of social media, along with information getting across quickly among these platforms, “fake news” can spread rapidly. This can be avoided by using proper communication sources.
It is important for the public to be informed on issues regarding health because it could be a matter of life or death.

  • Printed materials are advantageous in the fact that cost is cheap to create and send to the intended audiences. 
  • Electronic content is readily accessible through the internet. The Health Literacy Solutions Center utilizes this through the website by including the assortment of resources available.
  • Audiovisuals give the audience a chance to watch and listen to content. This is useful for the audience that learns best with visuals.

2. Educate Yourself by Using Proper Resources

  • The “Search Resources” page includes valuable tools to further educate yourself on the facts rather than the misinformation scattered over the internet.

There are research articles, statistics of all kinds regarding medical-related matters, medical journals written with extensive research, and so much more.
Simply type in a few keywords into the search bar. A variety of resources on your topic of choice will then come up and you will have an array of beneficial information at your fingertips.

  • The “Browse Menu” is another way to find resources that may be most helpful to you. Try the “Browse” menu if you are unsure where to start in your search. The menu includes discussion posts, standalone libraries, blogs, webinars, podcasts, and other resources.

3. Ask a Professional, Not the Internet

Health professionals completed years of schooling and training for the knowledge of that medical field (family medicine, psychology, neurology, gynecology, etc.).
Debunking myths, social media opinions, and fake websites is not the public’s job, but the job of the health personnel who is trained in a specific health discipline. From medical office receptionists to surgeons in Western medicine hospitals, these professionals will have the most accurate information. To gain the proper resources and recommendations for your health, ask the professionals.
For instance, if you are wondering if your child is allergic to peanuts, visit the pediatrician. If you believe you may have a case of arthritis, visit the orthopedist.
When all else fails, the human professional with the proper training is the best choice in fighting health misinformation.

Advice On Fighting Health Misinformation

Do you have experience fighting health misinformation? Are you a community leader, or a decision maker who works actively in health literacy? Join the conversation on Health Literacy by signing up for a free account and participating in our active discussions.