How to be an Informed Consumer
Headlines announcing new discoveries in health and medical research are everywhere. We see them on television, in newspapers and on news websites. They even pop up in internet ads and in our email inboxes. How do you make sense of all this information to help you and your family make the best decisions about health?
How do we learn through research?
- Researchers build upon earlier research to advance science.
- As we learn more through research, health professionals may change their recommendations for you.
Research is like building blocks. One researcher finds out something significant about a disease or condition. Other researchers use those results to explore new ideas and build new knowledge. Sometimes, this means we have some uncertainty as scientists learn more. Sometimes, a new study reported in the news seems to conflict with an earlier study. This is confusing to all of us who read about research studies. But knowing a few hints about understanding research reported in the media can really help make sense of important information for the health and wellbeing of you, your family, friends, and community.
What to Know
- What is the source?
- Who conducted the study?
- Who were the participants?
- What happened in the study?
- What did they learn?
- Who funded the study?
- Was the study completed?
How does understanding research help you, your family, and your community make the best decisions about your health?