Reliable health information

How good is “Dr. Google”?

Not all health information provided by the search engine is correct, true or reliable. This raises the question: How good is Dr. Google?

Information on the Internet can be helpful. However, they are no substitute for many years of study, many years of training and many years of professional experience. The quality of these texts should be carefully checked. Good texts are characterized by the following features:

  • The author of the texts is named.
  • The author’s competencies can be traced back to his education, certificates and professional experience.
  • The sources of clinical studies are named.
  • Influence on the content of the texts by the pharmaceutical/medical device industry, health insurance companies or interest groups in the healthcare sector is disclosed.
  • Alternative treatment methods are discussed.
  • The advantages and disadvantages of treatment are described.
  • The texts do not contain any promises of healing.
  • The limits of treatment are shown.

What does “evidence-based” mean?

Recommendations for treatment, examination or prevention must be based on facts. Such facts must be reliably verifiable by several people. Scientific facts are provided in studies. These facts are referred to as evidence. Statements that refer to the results of scientific studies are called evidence-based.

The informative value of studies can be divided into levels:

  • Reports on a single case and expert opinions are less meaningful than reports on several cases (case series).
  • Case series are less informative than the study of a group of affected persons and the direct comparison with non-affected persons (case-control study).
  • The practitioner and the patient can influence the treatment and its outcome. Studies in which neither the practitioner nor the patient know which drug was administered are protected from these falsifying influences. This method is known as blinding. If chance decides which patient receives which treatment, a further distorting influence is eliminated. This procedure is called randomization. Blinded randomized studies are of higher quality than case-control studies.
  • The findings from several good and comparable high-quality studies are the most meaningful.

The Oxford Center for Evidence-Based Medicine has been advancing the development and teaching of evidence-based decision making in medicine since 1995.

Studies are also differentiated according to quality criteria. The examination of many patients after several years and a careful statistical review speak for a good study. Several methods for detecting a disease are generally more reliable than a single examination. Age, body weight, cigarette smoking, regular alcohol consumption or the use of medication can influence the outcome of a disease. A good study is characterized by the consideration and evaluation of interacting factors.

The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors issues guidelines for the publication of scientific studies from an ethical and scientific point of view. Over five thousand scientific journals have adopted these recommendations in their guidelines. The transparent description of methods and the disclosure of bias is standard practice in scientific journals.

Independent reputable sources

Balanced and trustworthy information must be obtained before any decision is made. CenterPlast attaches great importance to informing its patients. Our surgeons will help you to understand complex relationships to the best of their knowledge and belief. Only as a team can doctors and patients reach the best possible decision. Proven and experienced experts from science and patient care have formed networks and working groups. The goal of these organizations is to review all available evidence to help physicians and patients weigh the risks and benefits. The following sources are reputable, transparent and independent:

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66111 Saarbrücken

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