Discerning Online Hepatitis C Information
For information and resources, we often seek the internet as our go-to source. Online resources can be overwhelming with a mix of positive and negative reviews, reports, and opinions. How do we discern what is true, valid, and good for us?
Check the source
Is the information based on...
- A person’s opinion or experience?
- Credible medical resources and facts?
- Medical clinical trial reports and from what organizations?
- Are the resources checked to make sure they are legitimate or current?
- Is the information based on a product or service they are selling?
- Are they wanting your private information (email, credit card, physical address, phone number, or other personal information, or wanting to physically meet you)?
Online information should have an identifiable source or author. For credibility, does the source (author or organization) have expertise and training to provide the information? If it’s a medical resource, does it list references and links to medical institutions? Or, it is written by a medically knowledgeable professional, organization, or government health agency? If it’s a blog, medical, or health website, look at what organizations, sources, and references they promote or endorse.
Not all information is good. Like it or not, there are people who prey on the misfortune of others and take advantage of the opportunity of someone who is dealing with hepatitis C, liver disease, and associated conditions, making false claims or promise of a cure that has no credible medical evidence.
Be on guard about what information you share online. Your information is private and personal, but it’s up to you how much you’re willing to share. Remember, the internet and social media are like a huge open door into another world where everyone has access. Be mindful of what you share online.
With the vast online resources and information also come online relationships. Again, this can be good and bad. Be mindful of who you interact with online. If the information is someone’s experience or opinion, remember, not every patient’s experience and health condition is the same. Wisdom can be gleaned from others experience, but try not to compare their experience with yours.
Always make sure your information is based on true, credible, medical findings and talk to your physician and healthcare team before making any changes to your health. Talk to your physician about the resources you’ve found. Be proactive and be safe.