"Siri, Is it normal from my baby to…???”
During this age of technology, how do we know what information regarding our children’s health is trustworthy?
This week, I want to highlight the importance of knowing where your health information is coming from.
How can technology be dangerous?
In the age of the twitter, blogs, facebook, and instagram, parents and educators have so much information at their fingertips. This ease of access to information is a double-edged sword for healthcare professionals. While, I love when patients/parents are invested in understanding the problems effecting their health, I worry that parents are often at a loss on how and where to find accurate sources of information.
How do we know that the information we are reading is, in fact, trustworthy?
In science and statistics, we look at the quality of research in terms of “validity” and “reliability.”
Validity is when a test is measuring what it says it is actually measuring. For example, testing for strength actually tests strength and not endurance.
Reliability is something we measure that is consistently true. For example, measuring for height yields the same height results each time we take that measurement.
Research is strong when it is both reliable and valid.
With that said, statistics is complicated, and many other factors play into the power of a research study. In fact, doctors and healthcare professionals are required to take several classes in order to understand statistics. It is our job to stay updated on the latest scientific research and evidence, interpret the data, and provide evidence-based intervention to promote healing.
How does this information relate to you?
In most cases, when a physical therapist recommends a certain intervention, it is based on a randomized controlled study including thousands of participants that has been highly scrutinized and evaluated. This is not a suggestion or guess work or even based solely on experience...
This is science.
There are many people, articles, and websites out there devoted to offering advise on you or your child’s health. Parents, next time you “google” something, think about where that advise is actually coming from. Try asking, "Is this information based on science?" or "What makes this person an 'expert' in giving this advise?"
Please consider consulting an expert in evidence-based practice like a pediatric physical therapist.
Boost Babies, LLC is an expert in understanding evidence-based practice in order to provide your child with the latest and greatest services. We always give you time to ask questions and discuss a variety of fact-based solutions. Contact us today for help!