[Video] How has health information helped you?

Michelle Harrison
Former Lead Editor at Bupa UK
07 July 2021
Next review due July 2024

Can you think of a time in your life when health information helped you? Maybe you needed to understand a recent diagnosis, make a decision about a treatment or support a loved one with their health. Having access to health information you can trust when you need it most, can help you to make informed decisions about your health and live well.

So, to celebrate Health Information Week 2021, we spoke to four people to hear their stories of how health information has helped them. Here’s what they had to say.

Managing my condition: Graham’s story

Graham talks to us about how health information helped him to understand and manage his condition, after a worrying diagnosis.

“I was diagnosed with coeliac disease, which is an autoimmune condition that causes you to react to gluten in foods, in 2016. I found out through a phone call from my doctor and my head was absolutely buzzing with questions. What is Coeliac disease? Is it permanent? How do I need to change my diet?

“And those questions didn’t all come into my head during that call with my doctor. But what my doctor did do, was to tell me about some reliable websites where I could find out more information in my own time. That led to me opening up various reliable websites, including the Coeliac UK website. After about an hour or so of reading and consuming the information on those websites, I felt so much more in control of my situation.”

Easing our worries: Stephanie’s story

Stephanie tells us how health information helped ease her family’s worries when her newborn daughter was diagnosed with hip dysplasia.

“I’ve got two children and with my first daughter we found out she had hip dysplasia at the 12-week scan which was a huge shock. We didn’t really know what to do. But thank goodness the doctor at the time managed to send us in the right direction. To websites and all sorts of links to different charities and different surgical procedures. It was really important to be able to find credible websites out there to get us all through it, like we luckily did in the end.”

Raising awareness: Clare’s story

Clare shares her story of how high-quality health information helped her family, friends and school to support a loved one with their condition.

“When our family received a diagnosis of Tourette’s syndrome, there were many questions that we had about this condition. And this is a condition which isn’t very well understood in general society and which certain assumptions are automatically made.

“We found that over the months, since we’ve had the diagnosis, using high-quality health information, from a variety of sources, and in particular from one specialist charity, has really helped us to learn more as a family about this condition, and help our friends, and schools, to learn more as well.”

Arming patients with the facts: Dr Puri’s story

Dr Naveen Puri explains how trustworthy and easy-to-understand health information helps his patients have the facts they need to make decisions about their health.

“It’s really important to me as a doctor, that when I communicate with patients about their health conditions, that I have available to me, accurate health information via patient information leaflets. I want these to contain the really important points that I would like the patient to consider. But I also want them to be patient friendly. I don’t want them to be full of the kind of jargon that us doctors can often be guilty of using.

“An example of this in practise is when I consult with women who are approaching menopause. Or women who want to ask more questions about HRT (Hormone Replacement Therapy). There is a lot to say in that conversation, and I’m often conscious that I can often bombard a person with lots of information.

“I can be left wondering whether they’ve retained everything I’ve told them. And so by providing good quality health content, I can be assured that at least they will have all the information to take away with them. To make an informed decision about the kind of treatments that they might want, or not want. And I can help them as a doctor to move forward from that point on.”

Michelle Harrison
Michelle Harrison
Former Lead Editor at Bupa UK

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