Monday, November 3, 2008

Research into health advice....

After years of research into the subject I can reveal where people take their health advice from, and which advice they trust more. In reverse order, that's least important perceived source first.

1. Any health care professional that spends more than half an hour in discussion with the patient with in depth history taking and careful questioning.

2. A reputable Internet site or other scientific reference source.

3. An advertisement ripped out of a magazine, preferably containing the words "miracle", "amazing" and "new." If there is a picture of a B-list celebrity on the advertisement that is better still.

4. A web-site containing the words "amazing", "new" or "miracle". The site gets more kudos still if it refers to lost Amazonian tribesmen or ancient eastern wisdom.

5. The recommendation of a friend or relative, unless they are a health professional. In that case the advice falls to position 1.

6. The recommendation of a vague friend or relative, e.g. your sister's son-in-law's mother's uncle's brother's friend from high schools sister.

7. A piece of paper with the name of the product written on it, usually incorrectly spelled. The holder of the paper will maintain that the name is spelled correctly, even when they can't remember where they heard the name, or who told them the name.

8. Something overheard on a bus or train, or possibly in the hairdressers.

So the leading source of health advice that people listen to is an overheard conversation between complete strangers. This advice will override anything any health professional ever tells them.


menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

Brilliant! It's the same as giving family advice - you may as well just pi*s in the wind for all the notice they take.

Anonymous said...

Completely and utterly true - matches my own experience with pain patients. And most people 'know' someone with the exact same illness as themselves who was completely cured by the mircale amazonian treatment (right up until the time they died). My current favourite is getting your molecules re-aligned for chronic pain. People who are in pain will find that their molecules have all become wrongly aligned, all of them, the three dimensional structure is completely different to someone who is not in permanent pain. The answer was there all the time.

slh35661 said...

And this is definitly 100% accurate for my OB patients as well. Eurkeka, you have nailed it. I quit giving my family advice a long time ago. No point, they won't listen anyway. I almost wonder if I should do the same with my patients some days. I get that blank stare back from them when I recommend something and then they come back with whatever their aunt told them which can be the most rediculous thing you ever heard.