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Science for Public Consumption

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an informed patient is an empowered patient … with the goal of achieving improved health outcomes. …

an informed patient is an empowered patient … with the goal of achieving improved health outcomes.
… shared or informed decision-making, evidence-based patient choice, or concordance.

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  • 2 min
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  • Transcript

    • 1. Science for Public Consumption Eddy Lang, MD, CFPC (EM), CSPQ SMBD-Jewish General Hospital, McGill University Montreal, Canada
    • 2. Objectives
      • The burgeoning and double-edged sword that is the medical internet.
      • Medical research in the news
    • 3. Disclaimer
      • Montreal-based newspaper column that I write will be mentioned in this column
      • No other conflicts of interest to declare
    • 4. Why look for health information?
      • Better understand what your doctor is telling you
      • Participate in your health
      • Be a partner with your doctor
      • Make informed decisions
    • 5. Studies show…
      • … an informed patient is an empowered patient … with the goal of achieving improved health outcomes. 1
      • … shared or informed decision-making, evidence-based patient choice, or concordance.”
      1. Coulter A, Ellins J. Effectiveness of strategies for informing, educating, and involving patients. BMJ  2007;335:24-27. Available from www.bmj.com
    • 6.
      • Accessible 24/7
      • Free and fast
      • Up-to-date
      Why look for health information?
    • 7. Statistics Canada: a portrait of seniors
      • 2006-2026: Aging population (over 65) will double
        • 2006: 4.3 million = 13.2%
        • 2026: 8.0 million = 21.2%
      • Use of Internet among seniors
        • 2000: 11%
        • 2003: 28%
    • 8.
      • MedlinePlus
      • Mayo Clinic
      • WebMD
      • CiSMeF
      • Public Health Agency of Canada
      1. General interest
    • 9. For seniors
        • WebMD Healthy Aging Guide
        • MedlinePlus: Seniors Topics
        • Health Canada: Healthy Living - Seniors (Bilingual)
    • 10. Evaluating health info
      • Evidence-based medicine for the lay person
      • MedlinePlus guide to healthy surfing
    • 11.
    • 12.
    • 13. Evaluating the news
      • Does the story include references?
      • Are these references authoritative?
        • Which study?
          • Journal name?
          • Author?
          • Date?
        • What kind of study?
    • 14. Evaluating the news
      • Behind the medical headlines.com
      • Health News review
      • Media Doctor.ca
    • 15. What’s wrong with health news?
      • Contradictory headlines about research
      • Bias in scientific journalism – spin
      • Pharmaceutical industry influence
      • Investigator’s perspective
    • 16. What’s missing in health journalism?
      • Context
        • What’s the disease and the challenge?
        • What did we already know from research?
      • Not all research is created equal
      • Health journalists can’t make recommendations
      • Researchers may not have a balanced view
    • 17. Healthwatch
      • Bi-monthly column in the Gazette
      • Co-written with Evra Taylor-Levy - healthcare journalist
      • Evidence-based medicine / expert input
      • Important research that affects many
      • Concrete recommendations
    • 18. Preventing falls among the elderly
      • Major health problem for the elderly
      • Physical and psychological consequences
      • 30% of them fall each year
      • Downward spiral
    • 19.
      • What works?
      • Review of 44 studies
      • Balance training beats simple exercise
      • The longer and tougher the better
      Preventing falls among the elderly
    • 20.
      • Hypertension – the silent killer
      • 1/3 suffer from it
      • Hard to control
      • White coat effect
      Keeping an eye on blood pressure
    • 21.
      • Should you measure it?
      • How?
      • Single readings?
      • Every day?
      • Morning?
      Keeping an eye on blood pressure
    • 22.
      • 7-day period
      • Measure at rest, sitting
      • 2-3 readings
      • Morning and evening
      Keeping an eye on blood pressure
    • 23. Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease
      • Major obstacle to living better
      • Affects 40% of those 85+
      • Major social and financial implications
      • Can it be prevented?
    • 24.
      • Diet?
      • Mental exercise?
      • Medication?
      • One proven treatment
      Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease
    • 25.
      • Active people less likely to be affected
      • Proof?
      • Only a randomized trial can prove cause and effect
      • Exercise had a dramatic impact on improving memory
      Preventing Alzheimer’s Disease
    • 26. HealthWatch
      • Approaching two years of columns
      • Online archives and useful links
      • www.montrealgazette.com
      • [email_address] (e-mail)
    • 27. Conclusions
      • Little is known about how the public understands and uses health information
      • Balanced, evidence-based reporting of health news is lacking and needs to be better
      • Explaining medicine to our patients is our responsibility
    • 28. Thank you!

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