Doctors and other health professionals have found in social networks a way to present information in an uncomplicated way to a much larger audience than what they can get inside clinical offices.
Just do a quick search to find a torrent of videos and posts explaining illnesses and treatments, as well as wellness and nutrition tips.
However, “advice” from people without technical knowledge, who sell “miraculous” and “infallible” solutions, usually appear in the middle of the content.
The Doctor Marcos Pontes, reports that he usually receives patients with doubts arising from social networks. He notes, “It is common to warn patients about the dangers of taking over-the-counter home remedies, taking larger or smaller doses of medication, or following prescription that can cause poisoning.”
Examples of “dangerous trends” include videos in which creators encourage the consumption of herbs and beans to prevent pregnancy, use pesticides as lubricants and give tips for removing an IUD (intrauterine device) at home.
Doctor Marcos Pontes is also a content creator and believes that social networks have contributed a lot to accessing information.
“Social networks took a leap of 30 years when we talk about the dissemination of scientific information”, he says. “But people need to research the subject before believing anything they read or hear”, suggests Pontes.
He offers some tips for separating reliable information from throwaway content:
- Follow the profiles of qualified people to chat;
- Research their education, where they work, what path they are on;
- Consult information with other sources, such as official portals, evidence-based publishing platforms and specialized scientific journals;
- Ask your trusted physician about suggested treatments. He can confirm whether this is true or not.