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Chapter 23. DRUGS AND MEDICAL INFORMATION > Community and Support Sites

Community and Support Sites

I think that finding and joining support groups and mailing lists is an essential part of medical research, especially when you're living with a disorder or you're supporting someone who's living with a disorder. But at the same time there are pitfalls to beware of. Be careful of the information you review; don't take it as credible just because it's part of a support group, and bear in mind that some information might be shared incorrectly, misunderstood, or just plain wrong. A community of patients discussing medical issues can be very useful, but it's possible—even likely—that accidental misinformation can become part of that information exchange. Be aware of that and be wary of that.

TIP

You may wish to join a support group for the purposes of research. Perhaps you're writing a paper about a particular disorder or doing research for a class. In that case please disclose to the group—or at least to the list owner—what your purpose is. Please do not join a group and pretend to either have the disorder or be supporting someone with the disorder. It's unethical and it damages all support communities by breaking down trust.



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