From tackling a new exercise regimen we spotted on Facebook, to deciding to try the Instagram keto diet, we’ve all probably consciously or subconsciously made health choices based on our social media feed.
With the average person now spending over two hours a day on multiple social media platforms, it’s only logical that the friends and influencers we follow online alter the real-world decisions we make about our well-being.
A survey of family physicians conducted during the AAFP Family Medicine Experience in New Orleans, conducted by the Merck Manuals shows that access to more information does not equal access to better information. Ninety-seven percent of FPs who took the survey reported that patients presented to their office with untrue or inaccurate information at some point.
“The increased access to online health information has the potential to increase a patient’s engagement in and understanding of their care,” stated Jen Frost, M.D., the medical director for the AAFP Division of Health of the Public and Science. “But misinformation can make patient care more difficult and has the potential to cause harm.”
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